09:17 | 29/08/2019 Cooperation
(VEN) - South African Ambassador to Vietnam Mpetjane Kgaogelo Lekgoro said his country wished to sign a cooperation agreement in minerals and agriculture with Vietnam in order to increase bilateral trade and investment.
Shari Lauren Small, First Political Secretary at the South African Embassy in Vietnam, said South Africa prioritizes investment in the fields of textiles, garments, rice, high-tech agriculture, renewable energy and auto manufacturing. It also offers businesses a gateway to the African market with 1.2 billion consumers.
South Africa is Vietnam’s largest partner in Africa, while Vietnam is South Africa’s third largest partner in ASEAN. In 2018, trade between the two countries exceeded US$1.1 billion, more than fivefold that of 2007. Major Vietnamese exports to South Africa include telephones and components, textiles, garments, iron, steel, cashew nuts and wood products.
At a recent workshop held by the South African Embassy and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in the city of Da Nang, Truong Thi Kim Anh, Deputy Director of VCCI Da Nang, said South Africa has a developed supermarket system and is concentrating on upgrading infrastructure. Therefore, Vietnamese businesses can export construction materials, especially cement, to this market.
Ambassador Mpetjane Kgaogelo Lekgoro said that Vietnam and South Africa are promoting cooperation in new areas where they can support each other based on their competitive advantages, rather than in traditional fields. The ambassador said bilateral trade has grown continuously but remains incommensurate with its potential and has yet to yield desired results. To promote trade and investment, South Africa wishes to sign with Vietnam cooperation agreements in the fields of minerals and agriculture.
“The geographical distance and differences in culture and language are not major hindrances. In the context of rapid globalization, South Africa is boosting cooperation with new, potential markets, including Vietnam,” Ambassador Mpetjane Kgaogelo Lekgoro said.