SA, Vietnam to strengthen ties

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Deputy President David Mabuza will today host a high level delegation from Vietnam for bilateral talks aimed at strengthening political and economic relations between the two countries.

The Vietnamese delegation to the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse is led by Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue.

The visit coincides with the 25 years of diplomatic relations between South Africa and Vietnam, with relations dating back to the struggle days for freedom, democracy and social justice.

The Presidency in a statement said the bilateral mechanisms between the two countries include the Inter-Governmental Partnership Forum for Economic, Trade, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Co-operation and the Joint Technical Committee, which serve as a vehicle to review bilateral relations and identify priority areas for technical cooperation.

“South Africa views Vietnam as a strategic partner and one of the most dynamic economies in the East Asia region,” the Presidency said in the statement.

Vietnam is South Africa’s 5th largest trading partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region. According to Stats SA 2018 report, South Africa imported goods from Vietnam amounting to R6 billion and South Africa exported goods amounting to R2.5 billion.

In this regard, the working visit to South Africa is expected to provide a strategic platform to review progress achieved in the implementation of agreements signed previously between the two countries.

“Furthermore, the visit will further broaden opportunities to increase the levels of trade between the two countries and a platform to further remove barriers for trade expansion,” the Presidency said.

Next year, the two countries will be non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

While South Africa assumes the rotating Chairpersonship of the African Union, Vietnam will hold a similar position on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which is a regional intergovernmental organisation comprising of countries in Southeast Asia. –