Addressing the ceremony, Vietnamese ambassador to South Africa Le Huy Hoang reviewed tremendous achievements Vietnamese people have made over the years under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam.
He affirmed that Vietnam carries on its foreign policy of independence, self-reliance and openness, and it wants to be a friend and reliable partner of the international community.
Vietnam is making every effort to accelerate its international integration, contributing to global peace and development, while settling regional and international issues, including the recent East Sea tensions, through peaceful measures, in accordance with international law and the UN Charter, he said.
The diplomat expressed pleasure at the increased cooperation between Vietnam and South Africa, especially in economics and trade, with their two-way trade expected to hit more than US$1 billion in 2014.
Besides the close political bond, Hoang noted both countries still have huge potential for furthering cooperation in investment, education, national defence, security, and environmental protection.
The Party and State of Vietnam attach importance to boosting relations with South Africa which is Vietnam’s largest trade partner in Africa and an important member of the Group of Twenty (G 20) and the group of emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – BRICS), he said.
Khadija Margadie, Assistant Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, stressed South Africa highly values the ties of friendship and cooperation with Vietnam fostered by late President Nelson Mandela of South Africa and late President Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam and other leaders of the two countries.
She said both countries need to make good use of their fine political relations, including relations between their ruling parties [the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the African National Congress (ANC)], to further promote all-round cooperation, primarily in the areas of their strength such as export of commodities, education and environmental protection.
She expressed hope that Vietnam will share its experience in agricultural development, and poverty reduction with South Africa, as well as increasing cooperation with the African nation at regional and multilateral forums.
Participating guests enjoyed several traditional dishes of Vietnam and South Africa at the function.