Trade between Vietnam and South Africa has yet to meet its full potential, said Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Le Huy Hoang at a forum aiming to enhance cooperation between the two countries in maritime transport held by the Vietnamese Embassy in South Africa in Pretoria on April 19.

Addressing the event, Ambassador Le Huy Hoang said the forum provided a platform for enterprises in South Africa to learn about the maritime transport industry in Vietnam in line with the country’s efforts to attract foreign investment.

Two-way trade reached around USD 1.2 billion last year, far below the potential figure largely due to high transport costs, the ambassador said.

A view at the forum. 

Ambassador Le Huy Hoang urged for closer partnerships between shipping and logistics companies of the two sides to boost trade.

At the forum, general director of the Saigon Newport Corporation (SNP) Nguyen Dang Nghiem gave attendees a snapshot of the firm’s long-term strategy and policies towards international cooperation.

He stressed the company’s great enthusiasm for expanding a network of global partners, including those in South Africa, in the fields of not only sea transport and logistics but also import-export, infrastructure development and real estate.

Mr. Dinh Xuan Thao, head of the National Assembly’s Legislative Research Institute discussed the efforts of Vietnam’s NA, Government and related agencies to improve legal frameworks and regulations to aid the country’s economic development and global integration.

State agencies and enterprises from both sides discussed ways to stimulate bilateral collaboration in maritime transport.

Maphefo Anno-Frempong, head of Transport, Education and Training Authority (TETA) of South Africa proposed the two countries sign an agreement on personnel training for the industry.

The Vietnamese Embassy also took the occasion to promote Vietnam’s agricultural products and seafood, including Trung Nguyen Coffee, tra fish and fragrant rice to enterprises in South Africa.