Vietnam hopes to increase exchange of economic information with South Africa and enhance closer connectivity between businesses of the two countries, Vietnam news agency quoted Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Vu Van Dung as saying.

Dung had a meeting with leaders of South Africa’s Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) on Monday to discuss issues related to cooperation between Vietnam and South Africa as well as the embassy and the DCCI.

The Vietnamese diplomat said that Vietnam and South Africa – a large economy of Africa and the world – still hold great potential for stronger trade cooperation although two-way trade reached only US$1.2 billion in 2016.

“Vietnam will host the APEC this year with about 200 activities along with the APEC high-level week at the end of the year, which is a good chance for enterprises from Durban and South Africa in general to tighten connections with their partners in Asia-Pacific region,” he said.

Dao Manh Duc, head of the Vietnamese embassy’s office for trade affairs said, although Vietnamese products are suitable for the South African market, they have yet been popular among South African consumers and businesses due to a lack of information as well as business exchange channels.

South Africa’s strong products such as beef, fruits, wine and mineral products have yet to successfully enter the Vietnamese market, added Duc.

He also asked the DCCI to enhance the sharing of information and partnership opportunities through trade promotion events hosted by the DCCI and increase meetings between trade delegations of both sides.

Alta Keyter, DCCI Director for Marketing and Communications, said that in the future, the DCCI will promptly update information about Vietnam’s goods, tourism and trade fairs and exhibitions in its news bulletins.

Durban is the largest port city in South Africa as well as a major container port of the South Hemisphere.

It is South Africa’s economic hub with diverse sectors including production, tourism, transportation, finance and import-export activities. With long beaches, warm weather and unique culture, the locality is also an attractive tourist destination.

The DCCI was established in 1856, grouping over 2,800 firms.

It is one of the largest and most prestigious commerce and industry chambers of South Africa.