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Message from the Embassy

South Africa and Vietnam established formal diplomatic relations on 22 December 1993 in New York. In 2000, Vietnam established an Embassy in Pretoria, while the South African Embassy in Hanoi was opened on 1 October 2002. The historical solidarity between the two countries founded on a shared struggle for freedom predates this formalization of relations by many decades.

The Embassy focuses on deepening and strengthening the good bilateral relations that already exist in various fields with special emphasis on economic diplomacy and consular services. Economic diplomacy evolves around promoting trade between the two countries,  which includes promoting South African exports to Viet Nam, Vietnamese investments to South Africa and promoting South Africa as a tourist destination to Vietnamese.

South Africa’s foreign policy is driven by its domestic imperatives. Therefore, the work of the Embassy is in line with and supports the South African government programmes of mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic, accelerating economic recovery and eradicating the triple burden of unemployment, inequality and poverty.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations South Africa and Vietnam have established various mechanisms to manage their cooperation.

  1. Inter-Governmental Partnership Forum for Economic, Trade, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Co-operation.
  2. Joint Trade Committee to strengthen relations, cooperate and jointly contribute to trade between the two countries.
  3. Defence Dialogue to exchange on issues of mutual interest and to identify and determine future areas of defence cooperation in accordance with each party’s national policies.

The two countries continue to enjoy interaction and exchange visits at high levels.
Imports and exports between South Africa and Vietnam are on a healthy footing and there are many opportunities to increase bilateral trade as well as investment.

Trade figures for the past six years in South African Rand):

2016

Total trade between South Africa and Vietnam     – R20,589 billion
South African exports to Vietnam                       – R3,126 billion
Vietnam exports to South Africa                        – R17,463 billion

2017

Total trade between South Africa and Vietnam     – R16,829 billion
South African exports to Vietnam                       – R3,225 billion
Vietnam exports to South Africa                        – R13,604 billion

2018

Total trade between South Africa and Vietnam     – R16,352 billion
South African exports to Vietnam                       – R4,412 billion
Vietnam exports to South Africa                        – R11,940 billion

2019

Total trade between SA and Vietnam                  – R17,963 billion
Exports from SA to Vietnam                              – R4,084 billion
Imports from Vietnam to SA                             – R13,879 billion

2020

Total trade between SA and Vietnam                  – R23,825 billion
Exports from SA to Vietnam                              – R9,471 billion
Imports from Vietnam to SA                             – R14,354 billion

2021

Total trade between SA and Vietnam                  – R21,465 billion
Exports from SA to Vietnam                              – R6,000 billion
Imports from Vietnam to SA                             – R15,465 billion

Tourism is a nascent market between the two countries which can be nurtured to result in greater people-to-people interaction. In 2019, 3,271 Vietnamese tourists visited South Africa. In 2020 and 2021, the numbers declined significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 
 
 

A PLEA TO SOUTH AFRICANS TO HEED THIS CALL

 

Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngọc Dung has called for tightened control over foreigners working in Viet Nam.

 

In a recent dispatch to Chairpersons of municipal and provincial People’s Committees, he said provincial and municipal authorities should consider deporting foreign workers without work permits or those failing to comply with entry and exit rules applicable to foreigners in Viet Nam.

 

The South African Embassy is aware that there may be South African citizens who will be negatively affected by this step from the Vietnamese authorities.

You are kindly requested to make sure that you are not found to be in conflict with the Viet Nam law in terms of visas and work permits.

The Embassy is in no position to protect South African nationals who are in conflict with laws of Viet Nam. In such cases the legal processes of Viet Nam take their course.

 

The South African Embassy does not offer any financial assistance regarding repatriations back to South Africa or any other matter relating to your stay in Vietnam.

 
Ambassador Vuyiswa Tulelo
Head of Mission
 
 
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