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Seeking opportunities in the Middle East   2008-10-08 - TBKTVN

The government has decided to call 2008 ‘the Middle East Year’ to show that Vietnam is paying special attention to the market. 


Trade with the Middle East now has favourable conditions as the demand for consumer goods has been increasing.

The Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) has reminded Vietnamese enterprises that the Middle East is a vast and potential market for Vietnamese exporters.


Le Hoang Oanh, Deputy Head of Vietrade, said that trade with the Middle East now has favourable conditions as the demand for consumer goods has been increasing. Moreover, the fact that more and more countries in the region, especially Turkey, are orienting their trade and investment activities towards the east will also bring opportunities that could help Vietnam-made products penetrate the Middle East market.


Vietnam and countries in the Middle East have recently signed trade agreements, paving the way for the improvement of trade between the two sides. UAE and Turkey are the two leading export markets for Vietnam in the region; but Vietnam-made products have also been selling in other markets like Saudi Arabia and Israel.


According to the General Statistics Office, in 2007, two-way Vietnam-Middle East trade reached approximately $1.2bil: Vietnam’s export turnover was $700mil and import turnover was $490mil. This did not include exports to the Middle East through third countries. It is expected that the figure will increase by 30% this year over last year.


Vietnam exports rice, coffee, garment products, electronics accessories, footwear, seafood and woodwork, and imports petrol, fertiliser and steel.


The Ministry of Industry and Trade said that the market structure has seen some changes. In the past, Vietnam only traded with Iraq. Exports of brain-power products to the region have also been increasing, especially electronics products and woodworks.


Vietrade has advised enterprises to pay attention to non-Iraq markets, especially Saudi Arabia and UAE, as Iraq is facing a lot of difficulties due to the war.

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