2 August 2022
Deputy Minister Candith Mashego-Dlamini receiving a courtesy call from a Vietnam delegation led by Mr Truong Quang Hoai Nam.
South Africa and Vietnam established diplomatic relations in December 1993 which were initially managed through a non-resident Ambassador. Vietnam established a residential Embassy in Pretoria in 2000 and South Africa established a residential Embassy in Hanoi on 1 October 2002.
The Ambassador in Hanoi is only accredited to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on a resident basis. South Africa has an Honorary Consul based in Ho Chi Minh City.
The Embassy primarily focuses on furthering the cordial bilateral relations, economic diplomacy and consular services. Economic diplomacy evolves around trade between the two countries that includes promoting South African exports to Viet Nam, Vietnamese investments to South Africa and promoting South Africa as a tourist destination to Vietnamese.
The South African Embassy in Hanoi issues visas to Vietnamese passport-holders wishing to visit the Republic of South Africa.
The South African foreign policy is driven by the domestic imperatives. Therefore, the work of the Embassy is in line and supports the South African government programmes of mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic, accelerating economic recovery and eradicating the triple burden of unemployment, inequality and poverty.
The two countries have since entered into different structural relationships.
Partnership Forum to promote bilateral relations and cooperation, especially in the areas of economics, trade, culture, science and technology.
Joint Trade Committee to strengthen relations, cooperate and jointly contribute to trade between the two countries.
Defence Dialogue to exchange issues of mutual interest, to identify and determine future areas of defence cooperation in accordance with each party’s national policies.
The two countries continue to enjoy interaction and visitations at the high levels of Presidency and Ministers.
Imports and exports between South Africa and Vietnam are on a healthy footing and there are many opportunities to increase bilateral trade as well as investment.
In 2020, bilateral trade between South Africa and Vietnam amounted to USD 1.4 billion, a considerable rise from USD 1.1 billion in 2019.
Trade statistics for the past five years:
Total trade between South Africa and Vietnam – R20,589 billion
South African exports to Vietnam – R3,126 billion
Vietnam exports to South Africa – R17,463 billion
Total trade between South Africa and Vietnam – R16,829 billion
South African exports to Vietnam – R3,225 billion
Vietnam exports to South Africa – R13,604 billion
Total trade between South Africa and Vietnam – R16,352 billion
South African exports to Vietnam – R4,412 billion
Vietnam exports to South Africa – R11,940 billion
Total trade between SA and Vietnam – R17,963 billion
Exports from SA to Vietnam – R4,084 billion
Imports from Vietnam to SA – R13,879 billion
Total trade between SA and Vietnam – R23,825 billion
Exports from SA to Vietnam – R9,471 billion
Imports from Vietnam to SA – R14,354 billion
Tourism is a nascent market between the two countries which can be nurtured result in greater number of people to people interaction. SA Tourism is not represented in Vietnam; therefore, the Embassy in collaboration South African Tourism Hub promotes tourism to South Africa. In 2019, 3,271 Vietnamese tourists visited South Africa. In 2020 and 2021, the numbers declined significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photos Credit Dirco