21/04/2015 15:50 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Vietnam eyes Morocco as new potential market

Hanoi, April 21 (VNA) - Morocco has become a new potential market for Vietnam as bilateral trade between the two countries reached 156.3 million USD last year, with the annual growth rate pegged at 54 percent.

During the year of 2014, Vietnam's exports to Morocco posted a 48 percent year-on-year growth to 148 million USD. Morocco is one of the 10 largest African importers to Vietnam.

The country mainly ships telephones and components, coffee, seafood, computers, electronics and components, garments, fibre, footwear, fishing nets, chemicals and pepper to Morocco.

Its imports remain modest, reaching just 8.7 million USD, resulting in a trade surplus of 139.3 million USD. The imported products from Morocco are computers, pharmaceuticals, DAP fertiliser, and raw material for the garment and footwear industry.

Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Tran Tuan Anh, said Morocco has an important geographical location as a gateway for Vietnamese businesses to penetrate into the North African market.

In addition, Vietnam and Morocco have a similar open market. Morocco has cut tax tariffs under its commitments to the World Trade Organization, as well signed several bilateral and multilateral Free Trade Agreement including with the European Union and the United States.

Anh said the ministry will update local businesses with market information, carry out more advertising campaigns in the country and formulate a development plan through 2020.

The ministry will also assist businesses in setting up subsidiaries and rice storage warehouses in key markets, such as Cameroon, Angola, and Mozambique, he added.

Zahra Maafiri, General Director of the Moroccan Centre for Export Promotion, said the country has a modern infrastructure, transport and banking system, which would facilitate Vietnamese enterprises' import and export activities.

Vietnamese goods have drawn the attention of the Moroccan people, she said, adding that Morocco will give priority to three main sectors of food and foodstuffs, leather shoes and information and technology.

However, businesses still have to overcome numerous hurdles, such as the considerable geographic distance, a lack of market information, and differences in business customs, and languages.