Expanding and deepening relations between South Africa and Vietnam
5 October 2016
Hanoi – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday 04 October 2016, concluded his working visit to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Deputy President Ramaphosa lauded the two day working visit to the Republic of Vietnam.
“This has been a very good visit in that we had really good extensive and expansive talks with the Vice President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,” said Deputy President Ramaphosa addressing the local media.
Photo: South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa paying a courtesy call on Vietnamese President Trần Đại Quang, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo credit: The SA Presidency
Deputy President Ramaphosa further said, “We covered a lot of areas that has common interest between South Africa and Vietnam. The visit is really based on a very solid foundation in that Vietnam and South Africa have a long period of good relations and cooperation and this was really to extend and deepen those relations.”
At a trade level, Deputy President Ramaphosa said, “We are already doing a lot of trade. The trade has grown from about half a billion dollars to one and a half billion dollars and we want to expand that. At the moment it is more in the favour of Vietnam. Vietnam is exporting a lot more goods to South Africa from the manufacturing base. We are exporting a little less from an agricultural base.”
“We want to expand that to include mining products which we are very good at, to include defence products which we also have in good abundance and we reached an agreement that we are going to do everything we can to balance the trade between our two countries,” continued the Deputy President.
“Now this is cooperation at its highest level because when good partners realise that there is an imbalance in their relationship they immediately take decisions to balance the relationship. So we are deeply grateful to have such a relationship with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,” he further said.
Deputy President Ramaphosa said, “At a trade level we are going to do a lot of exciting things and balance the trade and even increase it exponentially. At an education level we have agreed that we are going to cooperate even further on education.”
“We have a number of students here who are studying marine studies at their university and we are even going to be willing to welcome Vietnamese students to come and learn English, and the teaching of English in South Africa so we will be willing to extend scholarships to those young people,” continued the Deputy President.
“We are also going to be cooperating on a biodiversity level even more particularly after the Cities conference to conserve wildlife, particularly the Rhino. We were very pleased with the discussions that we had and appreciated very much the level of concern that the Vietnamese government also has with regards to protecting and conserving the Rhino,” said Deputy President Ramaphosa. “And as you know South Africa has more Rhino than any other country in the world and the Rhino is facing a great deal of challenges because it is being poached. The Vietnamese government has made a commitment that it is going to spread more information in Vietnam about the importance of conserving the Rhino and this for us is absolutely important and in many ways it also helps to deepen and broaden our relationship with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,” continued Deputy President Ramaphosa.
Deputy President Ramaphosa added, “other areas which I found really good was the way they have extended and are willing to extend assistance and help to us when it comes to the blue ocean economy. Vietnam is already a leading country in the building of ships. We went to their shipyard and saw the extensive work that they do and South Africa has embarked on using the oceans as a pillar of our economy and we are embarking on a massive investment drive in the blue ocean economy.”
“Vietnam is going to be our good partner when it comes to aquaculture, when it comes to marine transport, when it comes to ship building, when it comes to tugboat building. We are already doing some of these things so Vietnam is going to give us a lot of support and a lot of assistance,” continued Deputy President Ramaphosa.
“In the end this has been a very successful visit, mutually beneficial based on respect for one another, based on seeking every way we can to prosper each other and make sure that we have really good international relations. We cooperate internationally at a UN level and other international institutions. We cooperate extremely well, so Vietnam is a good friend of South Africa and we are very pleased with that,” said Deputy President Ramaphosa.
In answering questions about agreements signed on the visit the Deputy President said, “Well the agreements are really forming the foundations so others are going to come to sign those agreements, to extend them, for instance on the areas of defence there is a deep willingness to exchange technology, to also reach agreements, we are now getting into negotiations here, so that is also going to form a very good foundation.”
“Everything has gone well and has formed a rather good foundation. Some of my colleagues from the cabinet are going to be coming. Science and Technology will be coming to further develop ideas on possible areas of agreement; Defence will be coming and a number of my fellow cabinet members are going to come. This visit has formed a very good base and a foundation for all that to happen.” concluded Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
ISSUED BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENCY