Vietnam and South Africa promote stronger partnership
Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Hoang Van Loi ( First left) presents his letter of credence to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (Photo: VNA)

Speaking at a ceremony to present his letter of credence to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on November 19, the Vietnamese diplomat expressed his honour at taking on the role of Ambassador to South Africa, a country with great potential that is playing an increasingly important role in the region and throughout the world.

Ambassador Loi said he would strive to contribute to developing the traditional solidarity and friendship that exists between citizens of both sides, a valuable legacy that was built and nurtured by President Ho Chi Minh and late President Nelson Mandela, as well as the relationship between ASEAN and South Africa.

As part of the occasion, the Vietnamese diplomat conveyed messages of greetings and regards from Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

In response, President Ramaphosa welcomed Ambassador Loi to South Africa with his new responsibilities and outlined how the relationship between the two countries will be continuously strengthened and developed moving forward.

Ambassador Loi added that both nations have always offered each other mutual support at international forums, especially in the context of the two countries jointly assuming the role of non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Most notably, South Africa is taking on the Chairmanship of the African Union (AU) in 2020, while simultaneously the Vietnamese side undertakes the rotary position of ASEAN Chair.

Furthermore, South Africa signed a document joining the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) on November 10, thereby making them the third African country following Morocco and Egypt and the first nation in the southern of the continent to join the TAC. It is hoped that this will provide official co-operation opportunities across a variety of fields between South Africa and ASEAN in general, in addition to between both countries in particular.

Recent years has seen the two countries build upon important bilateral co-operation mechanisms, this includes the intergovernmental partnership forum, the trade joint committee, and defence dialogue. South Africa is currently the first and only country in Africa that the nation has established a partnership for co-operation and development with. In addition, it is one of the most important Vietnamese partners on the continent in a range of important fields, such as politics, economics, trade, diplomacy, culture, science, technology, the environment, and tourism.

In terms of economics and trade, South Africa currently represents the country’s largest export market in Africa, with huge potential existing for developing trade and investment relations between both sides.

According to the Vietnam Trade Office in South Africa, despite the negative impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the opening 10 months of the year has witnessed trade turnover between the two nations reach USD1.22 billion, a year-on-year rise of 22%.

Total bilateral trade turnover between the two countries this year’s is projected to reach an estimated figure of USD1.4 billion./.


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