Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Le Huy Hoang and Acting Director-General of South Africa's Department of Energy, Dr. Wolsey Barnard raise a toast to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Vietnam’s National Day.

NDO – The Embassy of Vietnam in South Africa held a ceremony in Pretoria, August 27 to mark the 70th anniversary of National Day of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (September 2, 1945-2015).

The event was also to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Public Security force, Vietnam News Agency and the Vietnam’s diplomatic sector.

Nearly 500 guests including officials of the host country, representatives from research institutes, ambassadors and diplomatic corps members in South Africa, as well as the majority of overseas Vietnamese who are living, learning and working in South Africa, Swaziland, and neighbouring countries, joined the event.

Speaking at the celebration, Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Le Huy Hoang emphasised the historical significance of the August Revolution and National Day, giving birth to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, opening up a new era for Vietnamese people – the era of independence, freedom and happiness. Ambassador Hoang also reviewed the great achievements by Vietnamese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam over the last 70 years.

He highlighted the heroic traditions, achievements and significant contributions of the public security force, Vietnam News Agency and the diplomatic sector to the struggle for national liberation and reunification, as well as in ensuring social order and security, national sovereignty, and extensive international integration of the country today.

Vietnam has established diplomatic relations with 185 countries and has economic investment relationships with over 230 nations and territories. As a member of many important international organisations and with 98 assigned missions abroad, Vietnam is committed to actively and responsibly contribute to the cause of peace, security and development.

Guests at the event were introduced to the country and people of Vietnam.

Regarding the relationship between Vietnam and South Africa, Ambassador Hoang affirmed that the Party and State of Vietnam always attach great importance to developing the comprehensive partnership with South Africa, an important member of the G20, the group of emerging economies, BRICS, and many international and regional organisations, wishing to promote bilateral co-operation in trade, currently at around US$1.2 billion, as well as agriculture, investment, security and defence, education and environmental protection.

On behalf of the Government of South Africa, Acting Director-General of South Africa's Department of Energy, Dr. Wolsey Barnard praised the positive bilateral relations between the two countries, emphasising that South Africa always respects and appreciates the ties and traditional friendship and co-operation nurtured by leaders of both sides, including President Ho Chi Minh, General Vo Nguyen Giap and President Nelson Mandela. He said that the fine bilateral relations have been developed for many years and have grown rapidly on the side of the parties, governments and peoples, at both bilateral and multilateral levels.

South Africa highly appreciated the results and significance of the 3rd Vietnam-South Africa inter-governmental forum that took place last June in Hanoi, and the official visit to South Africa in early August by Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai, Wolsey Barnard said, adding that the visit has created new momentum for bilateral relations, helping boost co-operation in the fields in which both parties have potential and needs such as agriculture, trade, investment, science, technology, defence and the green economy.

On the occasion, a communications programme introducing the country and people of Vietnam was also held. Guests to the event had the chance to learn about achievements in socio-economic development, security, defence and foreign affairs of Vietnam over the past decades, while enjoying ao dai performances and Vietnamese traditional dishes.

An ao dai performance at the ceremony.