Viet Nam and South Africa should boost efforts to push bilateral trade value to US$1 billion in next few years, Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan said yesterday in a dialogue with her South African counterpart Kgalema Motlanthe.
Doan also thanked the South African Government and people for their support of Viet Nam's construction and development progress.
She was particularly appreciative of the African country's recognition of Viet Nam's full market economy and of Thang Long Royal Citadel's world cultural heritage status.
Viet Nam had always highly valued the role and position of South Africa in Asia, and in the Non-Aligned Movement and the United Nations, Doan said.
On the occasion, Doan also congratulated South Africa for being re-elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2011-12 term.
There was also praise for the country's entry into the emerging market group BRICS, which also includes Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Doan affirmed Viet Nam always attached great importance to developing the friendly and co-operative ties with Africans including South Africa.
She then spoke highly of the upward trend in bilateral trade value; this increased $192 million in 2007 to $640 million in 2010.
For his part, Vice President Motlanthe warmly welcomed Doan on the occasion of her first visit to South Africa and said he considered the visit an important step in fostering the developing co-operation between the two nations.
He said he hoped enterprises in both countries would exchange and promote investment in advantageous fields such as agriculture, footwear and the environment.
The two sides agreed to instruct their related ministries and agencies to take specific measures to enhance the traditional friendship and multifaceted co-operation.
Fields of particular focus were national defence, economics, trade, culture, tourism, agriculture, and science and technology.
Inter-governmental co-operation programmes would be organised by the end of the year to specify issues agreed by the two sides.
The two sides affirmed they would continue supporting each other on regional and international stages.
Doan used a business forum in Johannesburg on Tuesday to assure South African investors that conditions were good for successful business in Viet Nam.
Doan, who is on an official visit to South Africa, told 40 businesses from Viet Nam and over 100 local businesses that the Vietnamese Government always welcomed and provided the best available conditions for investors from South Africa to make profits in Viet Nam.
She pointed out some major advantages such as political stability and an increasingly transparent and opening investment climate, saying these would create a level playground for all foreign investors.
Doan called on the two countries' business circles to further tap potential in trade, investment, labour, tourism, agriculture and education so that economic ties matched the current strong political links.
"Businesses in the two countries should take the initiative in obtaining information and conducting market surveys so as to be able to issue an appropriate investment policy in the future," said the vice president.
Viet Nam's export revenues to South Africa surged from just $1.2 million in 1992 to $487.6 million in 2010. — VNS