Deputy President David Mabuza and Deputy Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Vuong Dinh Hue, on Tuesday met in Pretoria to further strengthen bilateral political and economic relations.
The official bilateral talks, held at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse, were an important platform, said the Deputy President.
He said they presented an opportunity to review progress in strengthening bilateral relations and further enhancing economic prosperity for the two countries.
“Once again, on behalf of the people of our country, we wish to thank the leadership of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam led by His Excellency, the Deputy Prime Minister, together with the delegation, for the positive spirit in which we have been able to deliberate on issues that will further strengthen our bilateral political and economic relations,” said the Deputy President.
Deputy President Mabuza and the Deputy Prime Minister had the opportunity to evaluate and examine progress achieved in the implementation of the decisions taken at the 4th Inter-Governmental Partnership Forum for Economic, Trade, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation between South Africa and Vietnam.
“With regards to matters related to trade and industry, environment and agriculture, we both agreed to explore new areas of cooperation in energy, oil and gas, renewable energy, clothing, textile, automotive, mechanical engineering, to mention a few.
“Noting the steady progress achieved in these areas, we both further agreed to reinforce the strong economic ties between our two countries,” said the Deputy President.
He said South Africa will ensure there is an increased market access for agricultural and agro-processed products to Vietnam, at the same time, it will work together to eliminate technical barriers for trade expansion.
“Vietnam is our country’s 5th largest trading partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and it remains our strategic partner and one of the most dynamic economies in the East Asia region.
“We look forward to cooperating with Vietnam, in the field of aquaculture and fisheries, tourism and mineral extractive industries which have the potential of unlocking further trade between the two countries.”
The two reflected on strengthening multilateral cooperation between the two countries, as they will both occupy the non-permanent seat of the United Nations Security Council.
They further reflected on the role South Africa will play in strengthening relations with the rest of the continent as it will be assuming the rotating Chairpersonship of the African Union.
Mabuza thanked the Deputy Prime Minister and the delegation for their commitment and strategic direction during the bilateral talks.