Over the past years, trade and investment relations between Vietnam and Latin America have continually developed and expanded, said Ta Hoang Linh, Director of the MoIT’s European - American Market Department, at the event, held in Ho Chi Minh City from September 13 to 15.

Companies of Vietnam and Latin American countries seek partnership chances at at business matching event of Vietnam International Sourcing 2023.

He cited statistics showing that bilateral trade doubled to 23 billion USD in 2022 from 14.2 billion USD in 2018. It stood at 13.4 billion USD in the first eight months of 2023, down 14% from a year earlier.

Despite the fall during January - August, it is encouraging that the decline has recently slowed down compared to the first months of the year. Particularly, the eight-month trade with some markets has posted year-on-year increases, signalling the recovery of Vietnam - Latin America trade, he went on.

Notably, aside from the biggest Latin American markets like Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile, many others in the region such as Panama, Colombia, and Peru have also recorded impressive growth in trade with the Southeast Asian nation in recent years.

Considering Vietnam’s trade relations, Latin America is always one of the most important markets, Linh said. He added that it is not only a potential importer of Vietnam’s strong products such as textiles-garments, leather-footwear, farm produce and fisheries products, but also a supplier of important materials like corn, soya bean, and animal feed for the country’s manufacturing industries.

A representative of the Vietnamese Trade Counselor in Chile said the Vietnam - Chile Free Trade Agreement and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), have provided mechanisms for Vietnam to step up exporting goods, including many entitled to zero tariffs, to Chile.

Chile is currently the third largest destination of Vietnamese goods in Latin America, after Brazil and Mexico, the representative said.

Meanwhile, Tatiana Prazeres, Secretary of Foreign Trade at the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry, Trade and Services, noted her country is the biggest trading partner of Vietnam in Latin America.

In 2022, bilateral trade rose 6.5% year on year to 6.78 billion USD. That consisted of 2.24 billion USD in Vietnam’s exports to Brazil, down 1.3%, and 4.55 billion USD in imports, up 10.8%.

Businesses showcase products at the Vietnam International Sourcing 2023.

The trade turnover reached 3.86 billion USD during the first seven months of 2023, down 7.5% from a year earlier, comprising 1.47 billion USD in Vietnam’s exports (up 14%) and 2.39 billion USD in imports (down 17.1%), data show.

Vietnam’s main exports to Brazil include mobile phones and components, computers, electronic devices and components, machinery and spare parts, vehicles, steel, and footwear. Meanwhile, the Southeast Asian nations mainly imports ores and minerals, cotton, animal feed and materials, soya bean, corn, timber and wood products, and garment and footwear materials from the Latin American country, according to Prazeres.

Linh said there remains much room for Vietnamese enterprises to boost cooperation with Latin America, but they need to take methodological and professional steps.

They should identify potential products for each market, work to meet quality standards, and distribute goods via retail networks of Latin American countries, he recommended.

Nguyen Manh Cuong, a representative of the Vietnam Organic Agriculture Association, noted that since 2024, some Latin American countries will begin enforcing regulations on imports of genetically modified products. This is a chance for producers and suppliers of clean farm produce to grow shipments to Latin America.

Source: VNA