Resilient and Prospering Vietnam

30 August 2019

Celebrating Vietnam’s 74th year of Independence, Mr Vu Van Zung, Ambassador of Vietnam in South Africa said that Vietnam has emerged much more resilient internally and more prestigious internationally, after colonialism, imperialism and years of war. The 2nd of September 1945 opened a new chapter of freedom, independence and happiness for the nation, said the Ambassador.

Sharing Vietnam’s successes Ambassador Vu Van Dzung said, ”in economics, whereas the world economy is facing multiple challenges, Vietnam’s economic growth stood at 7,08% in 2018, ranking first regionally and second internationally. Upholding multi-nationalism and a freer global trading system, Vietnam has ratified and put the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) into effect for the country since 14 January 2019. In June 2019, Vietnam signed a free trade agreement (EVFTA) and an Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) with the EU.

“In politics and security, Vietnam has maintained a stable political and peaceful environment conducive for national defense and development. The border line with the neighboring countries has been well managed, making it truly a border of peace, friendship and development. In the South China Sea, Vietnam has continued to firmly protect its sovereignty, national rights and interests by peaceful means in accordance with international laws, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982). Peaceful resolution to disputes based on international laws is overwhelmingly supported by the international community.

“In social welfare, the people’s lives continue to improve. Vietnam has completed the poverty reduction goals in the UN’s Millennium Development Goals before deadline, improved quality in health, education and HIV/AIDS prevention. Gender equality is strengthened. The unemployment rate decreased, staying at 2 % in 2018.

“The national culture and tourism have seen further development, which is recognised worldwide. Last year, the number of international tourists to Vietnam increased to approximately 15 million. According to the World Travel Awards (WTA), Vietnam has been voted as Asia’s leading tourism destination.

“In external affairs, Vietnam has continued to confirm its international standing as a reliable, responsible and active partner for regional and world peace, security and development. In 2018, the country successfully organized many important international conferences, including the World Economic Conference Forum on ASEAN (WEF ASEAN). At the beginning of this year, Hanoi was the venue for the 2nd US – North Korea Summit. In June 2019, Vietnam was elected as a non – permanent member of the United National Security Council for the term 2020 – 2021 with a historic record of votes, 192 out of 193. May I take this opportunity to express our profound gratitude to the UN members, many of whose representatives are here today, for supporting our country and Vietnam will do its utmost to fulfill its UNSC mandate in contributing to world peace and development. Vietnam will Chair ASEAN next year. We will actively contribute to the development of a successful regional organization with 650 million people and US$3 trillion GDP, the 5th largest economy in the world when ten member countries combined.”

2018 marked the 25th year since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and South Africa, an important milestone as well as positive momentum to the Vietnam – South Africa Partnership for Cooperation and Development.

In March 2019, the 4th Partnership Forum between the two Governments was organized successfully in Pretoria to review the bilateral cooperation in all dimensions. Concrete measures were agreed to further promote and strengthen the bilateral ties.

The relations have flourished and this year saw visits to South Africa by many Vietnamese delegations.

In July 2019, a high ranking delegation of the Communist Party of Vietnam led by Comrade Pham Minh Chinh, Member of the Polit Bureau, Secretary of the Central Committee and Chairman of the Central Organizing Commission paid a visit to South Africa. During the visit, the CPV delegation held official talks with the ANC delegation led by President Cyril Ramaphosa. The CPV delegation also held official talks with the SACP delegation led by Comrade Blade Nzimande, SACP General Secretary and Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology. Taking place right after the May national general election with the new South African government  formed, the visit was successfully concluded, having promoted the Party - to - Party and State - to - State relations between Vietnam and South Africa.

In August a Vietnamese Women’s Union delegation  led by its Deputy Chairwoman Madam Tran Thi Huong visited and met with the leaders of the ANC Women’s League and SACP Commission for Gender Equality to promote cooperation between the women of the two countries.

Also in August, South Africa’s Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula visited Vietnam. The bilateral defence cooperation is one of the important activities that fosters a strong relationship and cooperation between the two states for the sake of peace and common development.

At present, the two Governments are actively preparing for the upcoming visit by H.E. Vuong Dinh Hue, Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam to South Africa at the end of this year. The visit is expected to create more forces for and foster the relationship between the two countries deeply, substantially and effectively.