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Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives in Vietnam for a Working Visit from 03-04 October 2016

Hanoi - South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa arrived today, Monday 3 October 2016, in the Vietnamese city of Hanoi ahead of his scheduled working visit to strengthen bilateral political, economic and trade relations between South Africa and the two countries.
Deputy President Ramaphosa left South Africa on Sunday, 02 October 2016.
The Deputy President’s delegation include Deputy Ministers Nomaindia Mfeketo, Gratitude Magwanishe, Madala Masuku, Barbara Thomson, Bheki Cele and Kebby Maphatsoe.
During his visit Deputy President Ramaphosa is expected later today, Monday 3 October 2016, to hold bilateral discussions with his counterpart Vice President Ðặng Thịnh.
On Tuesday, 4 October 2016, the Deputy President will pay his respects at the gravesite of the late former Chairman of the Vietnamese Communist Party Ho Chi Minh. He will later interact with Vietnamese business leaders in the ship-building and aquaculture sectors before visiting the Pha Rung ship-building site.
The working visit to Vietnam is at the invitation of the Vietnamese Vice President, Ðặng Thi Ngọc Thịnh and will be utilised to explore possibilities to break into new and possible areas of trade and investment to help unlock trade imbalances between South Africa and Vietnam.
Bilateral trade between the two countries has grown significantly from R13.4 billion to R18.5 billion in 2015 making Vietnam the fourth largest trading partner of South Africa in the Asian region.
By 2015 South African imports from Vietnam amounted to R16.3 billion from R11.5 billion in 2014 while exports are at R2.3 billion in 2015 from R1.9 billion in 2014 thus creating trade deficit for South Africa to the tune of R13.7 billion.
Vietnam offers great trading opportunities for South African companies particularly in the transport, mining sector, road and infrastructure including the defence industry.
In this regard, the visit of Deputy President Ramaphosa will also seek to diversify South African exports to Vietnam by identifying new areas for market access of South African products. Vietnam is internationally recognised for its expertise in the field of missile defence systems.
The Deputy President will also explore possibilities of increasing the number of South African students receiving training in Maritime Economy. Currently there are six South African students studying at the Maritime University in Hai Phong, Hanoi. South Africa hopes to also increase study courses to include ship-building.
Vietnam’s ship-building industry is ranked 5th in the world with 60 ship-building and repairing yards.
Equally, Deputy President Ramaphosa’s working visit is expected to build a partnership between Vietnam and South Africa in the development of South Africa’s aquaculture sector. Vietnam has utilised aquaculture as one of their key development programmes in addressing the challenges of poverty and unemployment.
To deepen bilateral political, economic and trade relations the two countries launched the Partnership Forum for Economic, Trade, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Co-operation in 2004 to regulate relations between the two countries. The Partnership Forum has thus far agreed to expand co-operation to include the areas of defence, security, justice, agriculture, environment, water resources, transport, education and science and technology.
Deputy President Ramaphosa will conclude his visit to Vietnam tomorrow, Tuesday 4 October 2016, ahead of his planned visit to Singapore from 5-7 October 2016.
Enquiries: Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853
Issued by: The Presidency