Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba’s November 18-20 visit to Vietnam affirms the African country’s wish to foster cooperation with Vietnam, especially in investment, trade, agro-forestry, seafood, education and aviation.

During the visit, the two sides will exchange views on several regional and international issues of common concern as well as sign a number of cooperative documents.

Vietnam and Namibia set up their diplomatic ties in 1990, based on the fine traditional relationship first started in the 1970s between the Communist Party of Vietnam and the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) – the current ruling party in Namibia . In the past, the two sides always stood side by side in their struggles for national independence.

The two countries have regularly maintained the exchange of all-level delegations and have signed a number of important agreements, including those on economic, cultural, scientific and technological cooperation, investment encouragement and protection and trade.

However, bilateral cooperation is yet to meet the two countries’ expectations as two-way trade reached only 1.3 million USD last year. Vietnam exports garments, coffee, wooden products to Namibia while importing steel and animal and vegetable oil from this African market.

At present, the two countries are implementing a tri-party seafood cooperation project funded by the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), with three experts and two technicians of Vietnam working in Namibia.

Namibia has highly valued the Vietnamese experts’ cooperation and suggested another tri-party cooperation project on rice growing in the country’s northeastern region with the support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The two sides are also negotiating on a cooperation agreement between their agriculture ministries.

In the education-training field, Namibia wants to receive Vietnam’s help to improve the education quality and expand training areas as well as scholarships for Namibian agricultural students to learn in the Southeast Asian country.-VNA