The ASEAN Pretoria Committee (APC) has defined its operation directions in the first half of 2014, focusing on strengthening the image and position of ASEAN member countries in South Africa and fostering their ties with the host country.

The ideas were agreed during the first 2014 meeting of the committee on January 22 in Pretoria under the chair of Vietnamese Ambassador Le Huy Hoang.

The event saw the participation of ambassadors from seven ASEAN member countries based in South Africa, which are Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Speaking on the sideline of the meeting, Ambassador Hoang said as the APC coordinator in the first six months of this year, the Vietnamese Embassy with work closely with other embassies to organise practical activities to introduce ASEAN’s potential in investment, trade and tourism to South African partners.

In particular, following Vietnam ’s initiatives, APC will discuss with leaders of the host country measures to further enhance trade and investment ties between ASE AN member countries and South Africa .

The discussions will be timed to coincide with external activities of the South African Government and parliament on the occasion of President Zacob Zuma’s presentation of the national message before parliament in mid-February, he said.

Besides, APC will coordinate with research agencies of South Africa to organise conferences to discuss the situation of the country and Africa as a whole. ASEAN countries also plan to hold sports and cultural events to introduce their culture and products, the diplomat added.

The same day, Ambassador Hoang also met 21 Asian ambassadors in South Africa to share information on the upcoming election in the host country and discuss ways to broaden cooperation between Asian countries and South Africa in the time to come.-VNA