Bright prospects are visible in Vietnam-South Africa trade and investment cooperation, Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Le Huy Hoang has affirmed.

The diplomat made the statement in an interview with Vietnam News Agency correspondents on August 2, on the occasion of the upcoming visit of Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and the 20th anniversary of Vietnam-South Africa diplomatic ties (1993-2013).

He said that both countries are promising markets. South Africa, as a gateway to Africa, has a rising status in the continent and is a member of BRICS - the world’s emerging economies.

South Africa is strong in mining, finance, telecommunications, education and tourism, he noted, adding that to make full use of these strengths, besides a favourable legal corridor, the two sides should create conditions for businesses and investors to meet and explore each other’s potential.

In addition, both countries should set up financial-banking mechanisms to support businesses, he said.

Regarding bilateral ties, Ambassador Hoang said since the two countries established diplomatic relations on December 22, 1993, the Vietnam-South Africa friendship and cooperation has been developing strongly in all fields, especially in politics-diplomacy and economics-trade.

In politics, the two sides have signed a series of important documents, laying the foundation for the promotion of bilateral ties. Notably, the Joint Statement on the Partnership for Cooperation and Development was signed during the official visit of Prime Minister Phan Van Khai in October 2004, he noted.

The two countries have maintained regular delegation exchanges of all levels. In 2012 and the first half of 2013 alone, more than 30 delegations of various levels from both sides paid visits to each other’s country, he added.

Ambassador Hoang also underscored that the two sides have supported each other effectively at international forums.

On economics and trade, the diplomat highlighted the surge in two-way trade between Vietnam and South Africa from 30 million USD to 300 million USD in 2008. South Africa has also recognized the market economy in Vietnam .

Despite difficulties facing both countries’ economies, two-way trade between Vietnam and South Africa is estimated to reach 700 million USD this year, he noted, adding that the two sides are considering the possibility of opening a direct air route linking the two countries to further promote tourism and exchanges.

South Africa has also actively cooperated with Vietnam within the South-South framework as well as in the model of tripartite cooperation among Vietnam, South Africa and a third African country, he said.

Both sides hope to expand the model to other African countries, the diplomat added.-VNA