Cashew nuts are the main product of Vietnam’s exports to Ivory Coast. (Photo: congthuong.vn)

During the visit, Minister Marcel Amon Tanoh met with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, had talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh, and worked with Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung.

An African country, Ivory Coast is the member of numerous international organizations, including the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).

Ivory Coast owns plentiful natural resources, especially diamond, manganese and iron, with the main economic sectors being agricultural production and supporting industries. In addition, Ivory Coast is considered to be the world's leading exporter of cocoa, coffee, palm oil and offshore oil for the past few years.

Ivory Coast industry is also quite developed in producing food, beverages, wood products, oil refining, mining, automobile assembling, textile and garment, fertilizers and construction materials. Over the recent years, its economy has reported good growth, at an average rate of 8% in the period 2013-2017.

Vietnam and Ivory Coast established diplomatic relations on October 6th, 1975, but since then, relations between the two countries have developed slowly. Recently, they well coordinated on international forums as Ivory Coast supported Vietnam’s non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council term 2020-2021, and Vietnam supported Ivory Coast’s  non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council term 2018-2019.

The two sides also signed diverse cooperation documents, including a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs (May 2014); and an agreement on visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders (April 18th, 2017). The two countries are currently discussing agreements on framework cooperation, on trade cooperation, on double taxation avoidance, and on investment promotion and protection.

According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there are currently about 300 Vietnamese people living and working in Ivory Coast. The Ivory Coast Government also approved certificates to the operation of the Vietnamese Association.

In terms of trade relations, Ivory Coast is Vietnam's second largest trading partner in Africa (after South Africa) with a turnover in 2018 of USD980 million. For the investment sector, Vietnam currently has an investment project in Ivory Coast with a total investment of USD895,000 on raw cashew nuts.

In the agricultural sector, Ivory Coast wants to cooperate in transferring raw cashew processing technology and suggests that Vietnam invest in building cashew processing plants in Ivory Coast. Meanwhile, the Ivory Coast Association of Cotton and Cashew is promoting the establishment of a representative office in Ho Chi Minh city./.

Compiled by BTA