SA eyes business opportunities in Vietnam

Monday, September 6, 2010

Pretoria - South Africa and Vietnam are expected to expand bilateral trade and create awareness among business communities.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, who is on a two-day visit to Vietnam, held meetings with his counterpart, the Vice President of Vietnam Nguyen Thi Doan and other Vietnamese dignitaries on Tuesday.

"Our countries both have fast growing economies and there is vast potential to expand bilateral trade and investment in many areas.

"There is also a need to create awareness among the respective business communities regarding the value-added business opportunities prevalent in both countries," Motlanthe said.

Bilateral Co-operation

Both leaders confirmed the importance of the Partnership Forum for Economic, Trade, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Co-operation as a vehicle to conduct bilateral cooperation.

"To this end, we have agreed that the 2nd Meeting of the Partnership Forum would be held in South Africa in the course of 2011 at a mutually convenient date."

Specific issues to be discussed would include the implementation of the agreements that the two leaders would sign during the state visit - cooperation in the field of safety and public security, trade, investment, tourism among others.

Motlanthe said South Africa also wanted to broaden trade relations, especially in the field of defence cooperation.

"Denel Dynamics has submitted a bid for a contract to supply its surface-to-air missile system to the Vietnamese Navy.

"We believe that the South African system is superior to other systems and that a successful bid would open new areas of cooperation between our two countries in the field of defence and would further strengthen the people-to-people contact," the Deputy President said.

Co-operation on fighting illegal trade

South Africa will also explore ways of cooperating with Vietnam to fight illegal trade in rhino horn.

"We have already submitted a request that a technical delegation from South Africa be received in Vietnam later in October 2010 to discuss the issue. The objective of the visit is cooperation and the Vietnamese counterparts would be invited to pay a reciprocal visit to South Africa to share experiences," he said.

United Nations Security Council (UNSC)

Motlanthe further expressed his sincere appreciation for Vietnam's support for South Africa's bid to be elected as non-permanent Member of the UNSC for the period 2011/12.

"We have noted that Vietnam is bidding for this position for the period 2020 - 2021, for which elections are to be held in 2019 and that Vietnam has requested South Africa's support. We are considering this and would revert as soon as possible."

During this working visit, Motlanthe will be supported by the Minister of Tourism and the Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs.

This working visit coincides with the country's celebration of 1000 years of the founding of the City of Hanoi. Minister of Arts and Culture Lulu Xingwana will represent South Africa on this occasion.