The diplomat made the remark in an interview with the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the 25-year diplomatic relations of the two nations (1993-2018).
According to Dung, South Africa is now the biggest export market of Vietnam in Africa, with bilateral trade hovering around US$1 billion during the past five years.
Vietnam mainly ships to South Africa mobile phones, computers, electronic devices and components, footwear, machinery, equipment and spare parts, while importing a large volume of plastics, metal, fruit, garment and textile materials, footwear and leather, and chemical products.
Dung said the Vietnamese Embassy in South Africa has been working to serve the development of bilateral trade.
The embassy has coordinated with Vietnamese and South African trade and industry agencies, particularly Johannesburg and Cape Town to arrange for Vietnamese businesses to take part in trade fairs such as the annual South African International Trade Exhibition (SAITEX), the biggest of its kind in Africa. It has also organised events to promote connectivity, trade and investment, such as the 2017 ASEAN – Africa business forum and B2B meetings on the occasion of visits by officials from Vietnamese localities like Vinh Phuc and Tuyen Quang.
Dung affirmed that the embassy will maintain its role as a bridge between the two countries’ related agencies to discuss and sign cooperation documents, creating legal foundations for bilateral partnership in different fields, such as agreements on cooperation in science-technology and innovation, education-training, crime prevention, criminal extradition, judicial support, and double taxation avoidance, and memoranda of understanding on cooperation in forestry and mining, among others.
Currently, Vietnam – South Africa ties are growing steadily, with regular exchange of all-level delegations, annual meetings of the partnership forum at deputy foreign ministerial level, and frequent policy dialogue between the two defence ministries.
The two countries are negotiating and completing procedures for the signing of a dozen of memoranda of understanding and agreements across different spheres.
Vietnam and South Africa have actively supported each other on the international stage, including each other’s bid to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, and coordinated at international forums such as the Non-Aligned Movement.