Representative from South African business visit Vietnamese goods stall (Source: VNA)

Pretoria (VNA) – The Vietnam-South Africa relations have grown continuously, with the regular exchange of all-level delegations, which have helped boost the bilateral ties in an intensive, practical and effective manner, Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Vu Van Dung has stated.

Dung emphasised the meeting between Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on the sidelines of the recent G7 Leaders' Summit in Canada, during which both sides discussed measures to expand cooperation, particularly in economy, trade and investment.

Regarding the activities of the embassy in 2018, the ambassador said that this year marks the 25th anniversary of the bilateral ties. The embassy has organised a lot of activities in celebration of the important event, including opening an oil painting exhibition featuring Vietnam’s land and people, and participating in trade promotion workshops in Johannesburg and Cape Town. On August 15, it will coordinate with the South African Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the embassies of Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines in holding a ceremony to celebrate the anniversary.

The embassy will maintain its role as a bridge assisting the two countries’ related offices to discuss, complete and sign cooperation documents to consolidate legal foundations for cooperation agreements on science and technology, crime prevention, and criminal extradition and transfer of sentenced persons.

According to the diplomat, economic diplomacy, one of the three pillars of the embassy’s diplomatic work, has been stepped up in various forms with the aim to contribute to maintaining the two-way trade at over 1 billion USD.

He said that there are now around 150 Vietnamese people living in South Africa and surrounding countries of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Swaziland.

The Vietnamese Embassy in South Africa has conducted activities to enhance connectivity in the community, and disseminate the Party and State’s policies to the community.

In terms of citizen protection, Ambassador Dung said that the embassy always gives priority to addressing cases involved in Vietnamese citizens in distress. Last year, it coordinated with both sides’ agencies to repatriate four Vietnamese sailors aboard a fired ship, and many citizens or crewmen who lost personal papers or got lost.-VNA