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Vietnam celebrates 70 years of Independence

Remarks by Ambassador Le Huy Hoang of Vietnam in South Africa at Vietnam's 70th National Independence Day Celebration

27 August 2015

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-    Your Excellency, Dr. Wolsey Barnard, Director-General of Energy, Representative of the Government of the Republic of South Africa;
-     Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Heads of Missions,
Distinguished Guests; Colleagues and Friends; Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to express my warmest welcome and sincere thanks to you, Dr. Wolsey Barnard, Director-General of Energy, Representative of the Government of South Africa, and all other distinguished Guests and Friends for coming to our Reception here today.

We organized this Event to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Vietnam’s Independence, but also to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Police Force of Vietnam, the 70th Anniversary of the Vietnam News Agency, and the 70th Anniversary of the Diplomatic Force of Vietnam.

I would like to thank our Embassy staff and all those who have devoted their efforts and contribution for the excellent arrangement of this Event.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

70 years have passed since the historical date of September 2nd, 1945. This was the day when President Ho Chi Minh read aloud Vietnam’s Declaration of Independence to the entire Vietnamese nation. This Declaration of Independence (made public to the world outside 02 weeks later by the Vietnam News Agency) marked the birth of the new Democratic Republic of Vietnam (now as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam), opening up a new era for our independence, freedom and happiness – that for the first time in our history, the Vietnamese people had the right to raise high our heads as citizens of a free and independent country. This revolutionary victory proved the courage and solidarity of the Vietnamese nation, and it also added strength to the independence struggles of many nations around the world, including those in the African continent.
During the past 70 years, Vietnam has successfully fought many years of wars for national independence and sovereignty, and for the re-unification of our nation. We also had many successful years to develop our country in peace, growing our market-oriented economy, along the socialist path, for the increasing prosperity and living standards for our people.

Ladies and Gentlemen,  
A country (known many years as wars), Vietnam today has become a country of peace. With a population of over 94 million, we have become a middle-income country, offering a big, attractive market that is brimming with diverse potentials. For the past 15 years, Vietnam’s economic growth rate achieved an average of 7,5%. And during the first 09 month of this year, even during the current time of global economic difficulties, our country still maintained a high GDP growth rate of 6,4 %. We have become an attractive destination for foreign investment, with the total FDI of over 250 billion USD so far. To open our markets to the outside world, Vietnam is among a few countries that participate in all the important economic arrangements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
One significant factor contributed to those achievements. A week ago, on August 19th, our country celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the People’s Police Force of Vietnam - the steadfast force that have played the important role in protecting our national security, enabling our transition from a war-torn into a country of peace. With our current political and social stability, Vietnam is in a prime position to continue growing a vibrant market economy and pursuing dynamic development in all sectors.

SEE ALSO: Vietnam’s 70th National Day Celebration in India

Ladies and Gentlemen,  
The month of August also marks the 70th Anniversary of the Vietnamese Diplomatic Front, the workforce that has contributed immensely to our national interests for peace, protection of sovereignty and for development, strengthening and diversifying our relations with the world outside. Today, Vietnam has opened up diplomatic relations with 185 countries and economic and investment relations with more than 230 countries and territories around the world. We are active members of many international organizations and forums, including the UN, ASEAN, the Francophone, WTO, and so on. As a responsible and reliable partner in regional and global affairs, we are now a member of the UN Human Rights Council, and participating in the UN PKO. In the region, Vietnam is working with other ASEAN members to establish the ASEAN Community by the end of this year. We are also committed to work together with countries within and outside the region for peace and development, for the settlement of all issues, including those relating to the East Sea, by peaceful means, through dialogues and negotiations, in conformity with international laws and the UN Charter.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
In this time of celebration, we are especially glad to see the strong growth in the relations of friendship between Vietnam and South Africa during the past over 22 years, after the two countries established their diplomatic relations. But, it is important to note that our traditional friendship started long long before that, with important historical landmarks such as the Bandung Conference in 1955, or the historical visit to Vietnam by the ANC former-President Oliver Tambo in 1978, where our leaders met and shared with each other the valuable support and experience for national freedom and independence.

With the current 1,2 billion USD bilateral trade, South Africa is now the largest trading partner of Vietnam in the African continent. Our two countries today have much potential for cooperation in many areas, not only in terms of trade, but also in the areas of security and defense, agriculture, education, environment, tourism, and so on. We are also glad to see an ever increasing number of important delegations exchange from Vietnam and South Africa. We are glad that the two Governments recently organized successfully the 3rd Meeting of the South Africa – Vietnam Partnership Forum in June 2015 in Hanoi, co-chaired by Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Nomaindiya Mfeketo and her Vietnamese counterpart, Deputy Minister Vu Hong Nam. We also very much appreciate South Africa’s warm welcome to our Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai. During his official visit to South Africa earlier this month, the two Governments signed the MOU for science and technology, discussed and agreed on new measures to take our bilateral cooperation with a new momentum now to new heights, especially for trade, defense and environmental cooperation, among other important areas. These positive signs speak to the prospering of relations between Vietnam and South Africa. They provide a good foundation for utilizing better the many untapped potentials and opportunities between our two countries.
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The incredible progress that Vietnam has made in the past 70 years gives us a stronger impetus to pursue further growth and development in all areas. We look forward to building on and strengthening our friendship and cooperation with South Africa, and other countries and institutions that Your Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners, and you all represent.

Again, we thank you all for coming to our Reception, and we very much hope to count on your continued support and friendship, for the mutual interests of Vietnam, South Africa and all of us.
With that, may I invite you, Dr. Wolsey Barnard, and all of you to raise your glasses:
-  To the National Day of Vietnam;
- To the good health and successes of President Truong Tan Sang of Vietnam and President Jacob Zuma of South Africa; and
- To the ever-growing friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and South Africa.
Thank you very much.



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