Liaison Board for Vietnamese Community in South Africa Makes Debut
The launching ceremony of the Vietnamese Community Liaison Committee in South Africa was held online from the Vietnamese Embassy in Pretoria, connecting with bridgeheads representing other provinces and cities. Photo: VNA
A liaison board for the Vietnamese community in South Africa made its first public appearance at a ceremony held at the Vietnamese Embassy in Pretoria on May 9, VNA reported.
Head of the board Le Hoai Nam said its establishment will help them catch up with the latest developments in the community for better connection and mutual help.
It will also act as a bridge connecting Vietnamese people in organising activities toward their homeland and support the country’s development as well as encouraging them to abide by the host country’s laws, he said, adding that the board will mobilise the Vietnamese community to actively participate in events to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Vietnam-South Africa diplomatic ties (December 22, 1993 – 2023).
Speaking at the event, Ambassador Hoang Van Loi congratulated the debut of the Liaison Committee and emphasised that this is a very important event, especially in the context of the two countries Vietnam and South Africa celebrating 30 years of ties.
The diplomat stressed, so far, even when there was no liaison committee, the Vietnamese community in South Africa, although in small numbers, has always united, supported each other for mutual development. The Vietnamese community in South Africa also wholeheartedly responds to and supports donations launched by the Embassy such as supporting flood-hit countrymen in Vietnam, donating to the Covid-19 prevention and control fund and Truong Sa island district, contributing to protecting the country's sovereignty over sea and sacred islands.
Moreover, the community also has an indispensable role in fostering friendship between the two countries. During the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnamese expats, through the Embassy, has made specific in-kind supports to help local authorities and localities in disease prevention and control.
He expressed his hope that the liaison board will help consolidate friendship and cooperation among the Vietnamese community, affirming that the Embassy will provide guidance, support and encouragement to the Vietnamese Community Liaison Committee in South Africa and in the future, the Vietnamese Association in South Africa.
|At the Vietnamese Embassy in Pretoria. Photo: VNA
The number of Vietnamese in South Africa's formerly up to more than 500, however, the figure dropped to nearly 200 people due to the Covid-19 pandemi, mostly consisting of students studying short-term and long-term courses, workers in different forms of labor export, immigrants and migrants.
In South Africa, the Vietnamese community lives mainly in three provinces, including Gauteng (the capital area of Pretoria and Johannesburg), KwaZulu-Natal Province (the port city of Durban and other neighboring cities), Western Cape Province (the city of Cape Town and surrounding cities).
After the launching ceremony, the members of the committee together with the representative of the Vietnamese Embassy had a meeting to discuss and contribute ideas on the organisation and operation regulations as well as directions for future activities.
They agreed to soon assign specific tasks to each member, make a contact list of the community to promptly provide support when needed. In addition, the Liaison Board will also promote the construction of an information channel on the community's activities on social networks to update necessary information, exchange experiences and answer questions for members.
The members also commented on some future community plans such as teaching Vietnamese for children born and raised in here in order to preserve the mother tongue, tradition and history, sharing experiences and knowledge of laws and administrative procedures for people who want to study and live in South Africa.
South Africa is its largest trading partner of Vietnam in Africa, and also the only "Partner for Cooperation and Development" of Vietnam in this continent. Meanwhile, Vietnam is the ninth biggest trading partner of South Africa in Asia. Two-way trade between Vietnam and South Africa in 2022 hit USD 1.3 billion.
A Vietnam Day will be organized in South Africa in 2023 as part of the activities to celebrate the 30th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties. The event is hoped to offer a good chance for the two countries to enhance cooperation, thus creating an impetus to soon lift the bilateral trade to USD 2 billion.
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