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Jan 26, 2020 / 10:26

Vietnam-South Africa ties experience an exciting year: Ambassador MK Lekgoro

The bilateral ties between Vietnam and South Africa have been reinforced with strides in different fields regarding politics and economics.

Vietnam and South Africa relations experienced an exciting year in 2019 with a number of remarkable activities, including the exchange of high-ranking visits.

 MK Lekgoro, Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa to Vietnam. Photo: The Embassy of South Africa in Hanoi

“We are proud and happy about the marked acceleration in the broadening and deepening of relations between South Africa and Vietnam that we have seen during 2019,” said Mr MK Lekgoro, Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa to Vietnam.

The ambassador mentioned just a few of these, including:

(1) The fourth Partnership Forum for Economic, Trade, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Co-operation took place in Pretoria in March 2019, co-chaired by the respective deputy ministers of foreign affairs.

(2) A 12-member delegation of the Communist Party of Vietnam headed by Member of the Political Bureau Pham Minh Chinh visited South Africa in July.

(3) South Africa’s Minister of Defense and Military Veterans paid an official visit to Vietnam in August.

(4) The Fourth Session of the SA-Vietnam Joint Trade Committee co-chaired by the respective deputy ministers of trade and industry took place in Hanoi in October.

(5) Most recently, and of special significance was the visit by Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue to South Africa on November 4-5, 2019 at the invitation of South Africa’s Deputy President David Mabuza.

 Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue and South Africa’s Deputy President David Mabuza in Pretoria in Nov 2019. Photo: The Embassy of South Africa in Hanoi

On December 6, 2019, the Vietnam CITES Management Authority handed over 55 rhino horns to the South Africa CITES counterpart. These horns were from the consignment of 125kg of illegally trafficked rhino horns that the Vietnamese authorities seized at Noi Bai International Airport on July 25, 2019 and will be tested against the comprehensive database of southern rhinoceros DNA that South Africa maintains.

This handing over is eloquent testimony to South Africa and Vietnam’s shared will to combat the scourge of illicit wildlife trafficking, in particular in rhino horn, in order to ensure that our children and our children’s children will have the privilege of sharing our planet with these magnificent beasts, said the ambassador.

In terms of trade, the volume stood at approximately US$1.2 billion at the end of November 2019, higher than the whole 2018.

 Vietnam, South Africa witness an exciting year in 2019. Photo: The Embassy of South Africa in Hanoi

Remarkably, South Africa and Vietnam will both play prominent roles in international and regional organizations during 2020. They will serve together as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, while South Africa will chair the African Union and Vietnam will preside over the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

South Africa stands ready to support Vietnam in building closer relations with the AU, while South Africa is hopeful to join ASEAN in an observer capacity during Vietnam’s stewardship, the ambassador stated.

“Building on the successes of last year, we are planning a number of high level visits and meetings that will continue to take bilateral relations to new heights. We will be working particularly hard to cement and expand our ties in the trade and economic field to the benefit of all our peoples, Mr. MK Lekgoro emphasized.

On the occasion of the Lunar New Year, the South African Ambassador to Vietnam and all the staff at the Embassy wish the readers of Hanoitimes and all Vietnamese a prosperous and happy new year.

“May the year of the Golden Rat bring you happiness, wealth, longevity, and good fortune,” the ambassador said in a message.