Boosting tobacco exports to Africa

(VOV) - Vietnam Tobacco Import Export Company (Vinataba) officials have made a fact-finding tour of Ghana and Sierra Leon to increase cigarette exports to these markets.

Vinataba Deputy General Director Bui Nhat Tien said the company’s cigarettes currently reach Africa through Oriental General Trading INC-OGT (Dubai) under an arrangement negotiated in 2001.

The Vinataba brands exported via OGT in 2012 included Gold Seal (20’, 10’), Fisher, Capital (King size - Inter), Oris (Super Slim), Denver, D & J, and Empire (20’, 10’), with 500 million packs shipped in total.

Ghana consumes around 2.2 billion cigarettes annually. Smoking remains popular in urban areas. London King Size cigarettes claim a 50% share of this market. Twenty-five tobacco brands are available in Ghana, but Gold Seal—distributed by OGT’s main distributor Targetlink—controls 5.2% of the market share.

Sierra Leone, despite its poverty, consumes between 200 and 250 tobacco containers annually (around between 100–125 million cigarettes). OGT’s main Sierra Leonean distributor is BSB Company. OGT dominates 75–80% of the market with brands such as Gold Seal, Capital, and Oris.

According to Tien, Vietnamese companies need to organise promotions targeting these export markets.