Pretoria: International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim will co-chair the 2nd meeting of the South Africa-Vietnam Partnership Forum which will focus on maximising bilateral relations between the two countries.
The meeting scheduled for Friday will also be co-chaired by the deputy minister’s counterpart Socialist Republic of Vietnam Le Luong Minh in Pretoria.
“The objectives of the meeting include a review of the entire scope of bilateral relations between South Africa and Vietnam, as well as identifying priority areas of bilateral co-operation in order to maximise existing opportunities,” said the department on Wednesday.
Apart from political and security matters of mutual interest, bilateral discussions will also be around issues related to biodiversity protection and promotion.
At Friday’s meeting, other government departments will participate in the deliberations with their counterparts from Vietnam, notably the Departments of Defence and Military Veterans; Environmental Affairs; Justice and Constitutional Development and Water Affairs.
In October 2010, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe paid an official visit to Vietnam and his Vietnamese counterpart, Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan paid a return visit to South Africa in May 2011.
The relationship between South Africa and Vietnam is longstanding.
South Africa and Vietnam are both developing countries and can learn from each other’s experiences and successes.
“Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and has managed the remarkable achievement of halving poverty over the past 20 years. One area that needs to be explored is expansion in trade, including market access for products of export interest to the agricultural sector.”
It is expected that the Meeting of the Partnership Forum will re-affirm the warm friendship and close relations that exist between South Africa and Vietnam.