Ramaphosa heads to Vietnam, Singapore for working visit

2016-10-02 13:10
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

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Cape Town - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Sunday depart for a working visit to Vietnam and Singapore to strengthen bilateral political, economic and trade relations, the Presidency said. 

Spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said Ramaphosa was invited by the Vietnamese vice president and the two day visit will be used 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 R13.4bn to R18.5bn in 2015 making Vietnam the fourth largest trading partner of South Africa in the Asian region," Mamoepa said.

"By 2015 South African imports from Vietnam amounted to R16.3bn from R11.5bn in 2014 while exports are at R2.3bn in 2015 from R1.9bn in 2014 thus creating trade deficit for South Africa to the tune of R13.7bn."

Mamoepa said the country offers great trading opportunities for South African companies, specifically in terms of transport, mining, road and infrastructure and the defence industry, in which Vietnam is “internationally recognised for its expertise in the field of missile defence systems”.

"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."

The possibility of increasing the number of SA students being trained in Maritime Economy from the current six will also be explored, the Presidency said.

It is hoped that the study courses will also include ship building, as Vietnam's shipbuilding industry is ranked fifth in the world with 60 ship-building and repairing yards, Mamoepa explained.

"Equally, Deputy President Ramaphosa's working visit is expected to culminate in 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."

Following his visit to Vietnam, Ramaphosa will be in Singapore from 5 to 7 October.

Read more on:    cyril ramaphosa  |  vietnam

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