Vietnam and South Africa agreed to double efforts to lift bilateral trade revenue to US$3 billion by 2020 at the third meeting of their joint trade committee in South Africa’s capital of Pretoria. The five-day session convened on June 6.
As heard at the meeting, the revenue hit approximately US$1.15 billion in 2015, almost doubling the figure for 2010 of US$659 million.
Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai underscored South Africa’s role as the biggest import market of made-in-Vietnam products in Africa.
Hai proposed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on trade promotion between the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) and the Trade and Investment South Africa (TISA).
He mentioned trade liberalisation and the establishment of a distribution channel for Vietnamese goods in the host nation through direct links with local distributors as key measures.
He asked the South African Government to facilitate coal exported to Vietnam and local enterprises investing in thermo-power, wind-power and solar-power in Vietnam.
He also expected local authorities to support Vietnamese investment in their coal mining activities in South Africa.
The Vietnamese Minister urged South African investors to invest in the export sector of Vietnam, particularly in garments and textiles and food processing, capitalising on preferential tariffs brought about by free trade agreements.
South African Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Mzwandile Masina agreed with all of Hai’s proposals.
The South African official requested Vietnam create favorable conditions for the import of farming produce and processed food from his country and called for additional Vietnamese investment in South Africa.
During his stay, Hai had a meeting with South African Minister of Mineral Resources Godfrey Oliphant, who also agreed with his suggestions on mineral collaboration. Mr. Oliphant said he endorsed the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Vietnam on cooperation in the field.
After the meeting, the two industry-trade ministries together with the Vietnam Embassy in South Africa held a trade conference.
The event gathered more than 50 local businesses who are interested in forming partnerships with Vietnamese firms, opening representative offices, making inroads into the retail sector in Vietnam and exporting coal to the country.
On the occasion, the Vietrade signed a co-operation pact with the Swaziland Investment Promotion Agency to encourage trade and investment in industry.