In a meeting with Latin American corporate executives recently held in Ho Chi Minh City, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said that economic and trade ties between Vietnam and Latin American countries are growing. Vietnam has now formed trade ties with all countries in the region, with two-way trade up nearly 20 times from US$245 million in 2000, to US$3.95 billion in 2010, and US$13.49 billion in 2017. VNA
Vietnam has poured hundreds of millions USD into oil and gas exploration and exploitation in Peru, telecommunications networks in Haiti and Peru, and instant noodle production in Brazil.
Meanwhile, Latin American investment in Vietnam remains modest, with four projects worth US$3.2 million by Argentina, one project by Mexico, one by Chile, and two Peruvian companies in Vietnam.
It is attributable to the extended geographical distance, resulting in high transportation costs and the lack of information about each other’s business environments.
Uncertainties about global trade, the impact of the US-China trade war, and the return of protectionism in major markets in recent years are among some of the obstacles they share.
According to Latin American firms, barriers will be cleared once the CPTPP and bilateral trade agreements take effect.
Pham Huynh Mai Thanh from Vietnam Cacao JSC said that the entry of three Latin American countries to the CPTPP will help cut down on customs procedures and import tariffs.
Nguyen Van Thanh, Director of Long Long Chemicals Ltd, said that the region boasts a population of more than 650 million and an average income per capita of US$15,000-16,000 each year, meaning that the consumption demand is huge. He added that the region is also an important supplier of materials for production.
Vice General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors To Thi Tuong Lan said that the association started planning to expand into the region five years ago.
Several Vietnamese seafood companies have already accessed Brazil, with an export value of over US$120 million, as well as Mexico with nearly US$80 million, and Colombia with around US$50 million.
VASEP targets that export revenue from Latin America will surpass US$500 million by 2020.