According to the handbook, Benin, owning the Port of Cotonou, one of the largest in West Africa, and a modern transport infrastructure connected to big cities in the region, is a gateway for Vietnamese products to enter a market of over 390 million people. Benin and West Africa are both having great demand for food and consumer products which are strengths of Vietnam.
Nhuan said Vietnam and Benin supplement each other in trade. Vietnam boasts strengths in producing and exporting goods like rice, electronic devices, steel, apparel and footwear, which are in demand in Benin. On the other hand, Benin’s strengths of cotton, cashew and timber match Vietnam’s import demand serving domestic industrial production.
According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, trade between the two nations reached US$121 million in 2019, up 8.2 percent on-year. Vietnam exported US$21.9 million worth of rice, textiles, and motorcycle accessories and others to this market while importing US$99 million of cashew and cotton, among others.
The diplomat highlighted that apart from trade, the Benin Government wants to boost investment cooperation with Vietnam in agricultural mechanisation, farm produce processing, health and technological transfer. To seize the opportunities, Vietnamese firms need to make more efforts to study the local market and demand, and seek trustworthy partnerships, he added.