South Africa and Vietnam conclude fruitful Bilateral Talks

The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Reginah Mhaule, hosted her Vietnamese counterpart, Deputy Minister Quoc Cuong, on Friday, 15 March 2019, on the occasion of the Fourth Meeting of the South Africa-Vietnam Intergovernmental Partnership Forum for Economic, Trade, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Co-operation.

The Deputy Minister highlighted that relations between South Africa and Vietnam have remained cordial since the establishment of diplomatic relations in November 1993. She emphasized the need to do more to expand the opportunities for trade in order to move towards a more balanced trade relationship and also recommend the need to address all the issues that could constitute barriers to market access in the respective economies.

Furthermore, Deputy Minister Mhaule highlighted the important area of bilateral cooperation in the field of conservation and wildlife protection. She stated that the respective government officials have also worked hard to concretise cooperation so that the relations can continue to grow in strength and substance.

In his remarks, Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Cuong expressed his gratitude to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and relevant Ministries and Agencies of South Africa for the excellent arrangements for the 4th Meeting of the South Africa-Viet Nam Partnership Forum.

Deputy Foreign Minister Cuong appreciated the positive developments in bilateral relations, particularly the exchange of 14 high-level visits since the 3rd Meeting in Ha Noi in 2015, most notably the visit to Viet Nam by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his capacity as Vice President in 2016 and the visit to South Africa by National Assembly Vice President Do Ba Ty in 2017.

Deputy Foreign Minister Cuong also stressed the need to deepen bilateral cooperation in defense and security so as to elevate bilateral ties to a new height of mutual trust, as well as to further enhance other areas of cooperation.

The two sides provided each other with an overview of the political developments in their countries and respective regions. Both sides deeply appreciated the cooperation and mutual support between the two countries at multilateral fora, particularly at the United Nations.

The Vietnamese delegation congratulated South Africa on being elected as non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2019-2020 tenure and believed that South Africa would successfully fulfil her mandate. On this occasion, the Vietnamese delegation expressed sincere thanks to the South African Government for supporting Viet Nam’s candidacy to UNSC non-permanent seat for the 2020-2021 term of office.

In her closing remarks, Deputy Minister Mhaule thanked Deputy Minister Nguyen Quong Cuong and also expressed her profound gratitude to all officials and participants in the various subcommittees for the dedication they have shown to ensure the success of the bilateral engagements. Furthermore, she stated that the meeting gave an opportunity to review bilateral relations and also exchange views on a range of issues of mutual interest in the respective regions and continents and forged common ground in most areas.

Source: Department of International Relations and Cooperation