Remarks by Deputy President Mashatile to the media during the incoming Official Visit to South Africa by Vice-President Vo Thi Anh Xuan of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Pretoria, 15 September 2023
Your Excellency, Vice-President Vo Thi Anh Xuan,
Honourable Deputy Ministers,
Members of the Vietnamese and South African delegations,
Members of the Vietnamese, South African and international media,
Ladies and gentlemen,
South Africa is honoured to have received HE Vo Thi Anh Xuan, Vice President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, on an Official Visit to South Africa.
This year has great significance in our diplomatic ties with Vietnam, as we commemorate three decades of formal diplomatic relations.
The Official Visit proved to be fruitful in facilitating bilateral conversations pertaining to our political and economic relations, regional and multilateral cooperation.
During the visit, both parties expressed their commitment to aggressively enhance political and diplomatic relations as well as promote interactions between them. In light of this matter, I have graciously accepted the invitation extended by Vice President Xuan to embark upon a visit to Vietnam with the aim of fostering and strengthening our bilateral ties.
The highly productive and fruitful meeting that took place provided an exceptional opportunity for all participants to engage in extensive and comprehensive discussions regarding various crucial aspects of cooperation.
Specifically, the focus was placed on exploring and deliberating upon the potential areas of cooperation in the fields of Trade and Investment, Agricultural Development, Higher Education, as well as Mineral Resources and Energy fields.
We noted the urgent need to increase bilateral trade and to work towards a more balanced trade relationship and diversify South African exports by identifying broad market access for value-added products. In addition, we agreed to expedite market access for South African citrus and Vietnamese products and urged Vietnam to open the market for South African beef and game meat.
Additionally, yesterday in Pretoria, representatives from a range of businesses, including the coal and mining sectors, energy, and the pharmaceuticals sector, took part in the Roundtable on Vietnam-South Africa Economic Cooperation. These sessions were very productive for both parties.
This visit served as a reminder of the significance that both of our nations place on developing and widening their current bilateral connections, particularly in terms of expanding their trade and economic ties.
Ladies and gentlemen, once again, I would like to seize this moment to reiterate our gratitude to the Government of Vietnam for its valuable support to South Africa bid to secure the status of a Sectoral Dialogue Partner (SDP) of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which was accorded in July 2023.
ASEAN is home to more than 680 million people and has a combined gross domestic product of about US$3 trillion. Further deepening the cooperation between South Africa and ASEAN would provide potential to grow in the field of geo-political (South-South Cooperation), trade, economy as well as infrastructure development, technology transfer, education, science, innovation and tourism.
I would like to thank HE Vice President Xuan for very productive and positive deliberations and for her commitment to building stronger ties between our countries.
I thank you.
Issued by: The Presidency