Vietnam, South Africa Prepare for 2022 Inter-Governmental Partnership Forum
Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Hoang Van Loi and Deputy Minister of the South Africa Department of International Relations and Cooperation Candith Mashego-Dlamini has discussed the preparetion of the upcoming fifth Inter-Governmental Partnership Forum, which is expected to create new momentum for the multi-faceted cooperation, both bilateral and multilateral.
|Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Hoang Van Loi and Deputy Minister of the South Africa Department of International Relations and Cooperation Candith Mashego-Dlamini during their recent working session in Cape Town. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs|
According to VOV, Ambassador Loi proposed a number of measures to further develop bilateral economic-trade relations in the context that the two countries are implementing policies to cushion the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and step up economic recovery.
Candith Mashego-Dlamini acknowledged Vietnam’s growing role and prestige in the international arena.
She thanked the Southeast Asian nation for its close coordination and support in international forums, especially in 2020, when both Vietnam and South Africa served as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.
They suggested that the two sides focus on discussing and agreeing on specific measures and initiatives to further deepen bilateral relations. Priority will be given to expanding economic-trade cooperation in the fields of their strength such as agriculture, mining, aquatic farming, supporting industries for auto manufacturing, tourism and education.
|At the meeting with Supra Mahumapelo, National Assembly chairperson of Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation. Photo: VNA|
Loi also attended a number of events held by South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) following President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering the Speech of National Address 2022.
He joined other ambassadors of ASEAN member states in South Africa to pay a courtesy call to Supra Mahumapelo, National Assembly chairperson of Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation.
During the meeting, alongside his ASEAN counterparts, Loi proposed South Africa to continue backing ASEAN’s stance in regional and global issues and supporting each other at the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), particularly as the 144th Assembly of the IPU will be held in Indonesia in late March.
The diplomat took the occasion to announce the Vietnamese National Assembly’s approval of the establishment of the Vietnam-South Africa friendship parliamentarians’ group in an effort to promote cooperation between the two national assemblies and the two countries at large. He suggested that South African legislature found a similar organisation to foster connection and exchanges.
During his working visit to Cape Town on Feb. 8-14, Ambassador Hoang Van Loi also had a meeting with John Lawson, newly appointed CEO of Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and met with representatives of a number of major businesses that have developed trade relations with Vietnam.
|Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Hoang Van Loi (L) presents a souvenir to John Lawson, CEO of Cape Chamber of Commerce. Photo: VNA|
Loi called for the close coordination of the Cape Chamber of Commerce to help Vietnamese firms seek prestigious, long-term partners in Cape Town city and Western Cape province at large.
For his part, Lawson said Cape Chamber stands ready to coordinate with the Vietnamese Embassy and Commercial Affairs Office to boost trade and investment ties between the two countries.
The two sides discussed the organisation of a business-to-business event for Vietnamese and South African firms operating in such sectors as furniture, agricultural processing and pottery in May.
In January, Loi led a delegation of the Vietnamese Embassy paid a working visit to the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and George city in South Africa’s Western Cape province.
On this occasion, the ambassador presented the Parkdene High School and the Tabatha Primary School in George each with 200,000 medical masks donated by the Vietnamese community in South Africa.
South African Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Alvin Botes spoke highly of contributions by the Vietnamese Embassy to the success of the working trip, which also saw the participation of the ambassador of the Republic of Korea (RoK).
He said the gifts from the Vietnamese Embassy are meaningful to local students and help the schools implement the South African Government’s mandatory mask wearing rules at public places in the Covid combat.
In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA), the Deputy Minister affirmed that South Africa attaches importance to promoting relations with countries in the southern hemisphere, including Vietnam – a special friend of South Africa.
Reiterating late President Nelson Mandela’s statement that “Vietnam is a trustworthy partner of South African people”, he said strengthening the bilateral relations across spheres is the consistent policy of the South African Government.
Despite the negative impact caused by the pandemic, the trade turnover between the two countries last year fetched nearly US$1.3 billion, of which Vietnam’s export turnover rose 24.3% year on year to US$847 million, while its import value fell nearly 40% to US$426.5 million.
Some items attaining high export value included mobile phones, electronic equipment, computers, shoes, pepper, and textiles.
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