Vice President Aims for Vietnamese Electric Vehicle Production in South Africa

The Deputy President of South Africa who visited expressed their desire for Vietnam to open its market to South Africa's strong products, particularly electric vehicles and electric car batteries.

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Deputy President of South Africa Paul Mashatile received a warm welcome from Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan during his official visit to Vietnam from December 12-15. The visit marks the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and South Africa.

Deputy President Mashatile receives a warm welcome upon arriving in the country. Photo: VOV

Mashatile’s visit follows Vice President Xuan’s visit to South Africa in September. The visit aims to strengthen bilateral ties in various areas including economy, trade, education-training, biodiversity conservation, and environment. Both leaders discussed potential cooperation in agriculture, electric vehicles, and batteries. They agreed to increase diplomatic exchanges and delegations at all levels to enhance bilateral ties. The sixth meeting of the Vietnam-South Africa Inter-Governmental Partnership Forum and another meeting of the Joint Trade Committee will also be organized next year.

Mashatile expressed his gratitude towards Vietnam’s support for South Africa’s bid to become a Sectoral Dialogue Partner of ASEAN. He also expressed his willingness to assist Vietnam in strengthening cooperation with the Southern African Customs Union. Vice President Xuan suggested accelerating negotiations on various trade and investment agreements between the two countries.

The talks between Vietnamese Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan and Deputy President of South Africa Paul Mashatile in Hanoi on December 14. Photo: VNA

South Africa is currently Vietnam’s largest trading partner in Africa with bilateral trade averaging USD 1.2 billion per year. The two sides aim to increase two-way trade to USD 2 billion in the near future. They also expressed their determination to encourage investments in various potential areas such as electric vehicles, pharmaceuticals, industrial equipment, mining, natural resources and environment, and wildlife conservation. Both leaders emphasized the importance of national defense-security coordination and people-to-people exchange. They aim to further facilitate the exchange of students in tertiary establishments and promote cultural programs between the two countries.

The two leaders also discussed global and regional issues of shared concern. During the talks, a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in tertiary education was signed between the two governments. Deputy President Mashatile also had meetings with President Vo Van Thuong and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. Vietnam and South Africa established diplomatic relations on December 22, 1993, and maintain a close bond through various exchanges and contacts between the Communist Party of Vietnam and the African National Congress (ANC).

Hannah Nguyen