Vietnamese Ambassador Hoang Van Loi (centre) meets with Deputy Minister of South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) Candith Mashego-Dlamini during his visit to Cape Town last week. (Photo: VNA)
Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Hoang Van Loi has paid a visit to the city of Cape Town, Western Cape, seeking to boost relations in politics, diplomacy, economy, cultural and social affairs between the two countries.
Loi was in Cape Town from February 8 – 12 to attend a number of events held by South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) following President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering the Speech of National Address 2022.
He joined other ambassadors of ASEAN member states in South Africa to pay a courtesy call to Supra Mahumapelo, National Assembly Chairperson of Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation.
During the meeting, Ambassador Loi briefed his host on Vietnam’s socio-economic development and key foreign policies as well as relations between the two countries and two legislatures.
Alongside his ASEAN counterparts, he proposed South Africa to continue backing ASEAN’s stance in regional and global issues and supporting each other at the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), particularly as the 144th Assembly of the IPU will be held in Indonesia in late March.
The diplomat took the occasion to announce the Vietnamese National Assembly’s approval of the establishment of the Vietnam-South Africa friendship parliamentarians’ group in an effort to promote cooperation between the two national assemblies and the two countries at large. He suggested that South African legislature found a similar organisation to foster connection and exchanges.
Mahumapelo vowed to closely coordinate with ambassadors of ASEAN member states to further foster solidarity and friendship between the two sides through parliament-to-parliament, government-to-government and people-to-people exchanges.
In his meeting with Deputy Minister of DIRCO Candith Mashego-Dlamini, Ambassador Loi put forward several recommendations to further expand bilateral trade and economic cooperation at the time when both sides are taking strong measures to revive the pandemic-stricken economy.
Deputy Minister Candith Mashego-Dlamini, for her part, proposed during the fifth meeting of the Vietnam – South Africa Partnership Forum, the two countries should focus on discussing specific measures and initiatives to deepen the bilateral ties, and expand and diversify the bilateral relations in agriculture, trade of agricultural and mining products, fishery, automobile supporting industries, tourism, education and others.
Loi also met with newly-appointed CEO of the Cape Town Chamber of Commerce John Lawson and leaders of the University of Cape Town (UCT) and several local companies doing business with Vietnam.
Statistics from both Vietnam and South Africa show that the two-way trade reached nearly 1.3 billion USD in 2021 despite COVID-19 impacts. Vietnam’s exports to South Africa totalled 847 million USD last year, up 24.3 percent against 2020, while imports were valued at 426.5 million USD, down 40 percent year-on-year./.