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Egypt hungry for Vietnam food products

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnamese agricultural, forest and seafood exports do well in Egypt despite the global financial crisis, according to Tran Ngoc Quang, head of the Vietnamese Trade Office in Egypt .

However, he said that at present, high-value products, including electronic products and computers, are difficult to sell.

According to the office, there is a great demand in Egypt for agricultural, forest and seafood products because the country can meet only 35 percent of domestic demand.

Vietnam exported 21 million USD worth of these products to Egypt in 2006. This rose to 60 million USD last year. The figure is expected to be higher this year and in following years.

Quang said Vietnamese shrimp, catfish and tea are popular with Egyptians. “Vietnamese shrimp, tra and basa catfish are on sale at most supermarkets,” Quang said.

Van Anh Kiet, head of the import and export division at Hung Vuong Company, said the company exported its first seafood products to Egypt at the end of last year. Since then, they had risen sharply, even more than to Russia , Vietnam ’s traditional largest seafood market.

Kiet said the company made 7 million USD from exporting 3,450 tonnes of seafood to Egypt in the first 11 months of this year.

He said export procedures to Egypt were quite easy and the market did not always demand the highest quality products.

“Hung Vuong has a plan to sell more to the market in 2009,” Kiet said.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors said Vietnam sold 60 million USD worth of seafood to Egypt in the first 10 months of this year.

It said Vietnamese exporters had paid more attention to Egypt with three delegations having visited it seeking business.

Early this month, a delegation from Dong Thap province’s enterprises, mainly in the rice production industry, visited Egypt on a trade promotion.

Quang said exporters should cooperate with Egyptian producers to increase their opportunities. He added that the Vietnamese exporters did not face stiff price competition from other exporters.

After stabilising business in Egypt , Vietnamese exporters could then move into the African market, he said.

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