Vietnam eyes stronger trade, investment cooperation with South Africa

Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Hoang Van Loi recently attended a seminar on ASEAN investment jointly organized by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) of South Africa and the Northern Cape provincial government in Kimberley city.

This is an initiative of the ASEAN Committee in Pretoria. It is also the first seminar on ASEAN investment organised in a South African locality.

It opened by a series of events to explore opportunities for investment and trade cooperation between ASEAN member countries and South Africa in general and the Northern Cape province in particular.

In his speech, Ambassador Loi briefed participants on Vietnam’s socio-economic development, major development orientations, as well as potential and opportunities to strengthen economic, trade, investment and tourism relations between Vietnam and South Africa.

He stressed Vietnam's huge demand for importing raw materials and materials for production, especially mining products such as coal and iron ores.

The development of clean energy sources is a potential area between Vietnam and Northern Cape, the Vietnamese diplomat added.

Bilateral trade activities between Vietnam and South Africa will be organised in the coming time, he said, noting that the embassy plans to arrange a number of business delegations from Vietnam to South Africa to seek cooperation opportunities in trade and investment.

Loi said the embassy and the Vietnam trade office in South Africa will make every effort to connect business communities of the two countries, and is ready to provide information and maximum support for South African businesses in general and those in Northern Cape in particular in trade cooperation with Vietnam, towards lifting the two-way trade to US$2 billion before 2025.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Alvin Botes emphasised this conference is a practical demonstration on how South Africa perfects its foreign policy, especially in South-South cooperation.

According to Botes, South Africa's largest trading partners in ASEAN are Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore. South Africa mainly exports chemicals, ores, iron and steel to; and imports textiles, footwear, electronics, petrochemical products, auto parts, palm oil and some agricultural products from Southeast Asian countries.

He said the signing of South Africa's accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) has paved the way for the promotion of closer economic relation and friendship between South Africa and ASEAN.