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Strong co-operation with S Africa priority

Update: August, 08/2013 - 11:00
South African President Jacob Zuma receives Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.—Photo vov

PRETORIA — Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has affirmed that South Africa is a traditional friend and one of the leading partners of Viet Nam in Africa.

Minh made the statement during talks with South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana Mashabane on Tuesday during his two-day visit to the country.

He congratulated the South African people for the significant achievements they have reaped under the leadership of the African National Congress (ANC), placing the country on the top of the continent in various fields, including economics, culture, science and technology, and education.

Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane described Minh's visit as new momentum for further fostering the two countries' relations.

She confirmed that South Africa highly values Viet Nam's role in the region and at international forums, expressing hope that Viet Nam will serve as a bridge linking the South Africa Development Community (SADC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana Mashabane.

The ministers reached consensus on priority areas and measures to promote co-operation in trade, investment, agriculture, science and technology, defence, tourism and environment, striving to raise two-way trade to more than US$1 billion in the coming years.

Both sides shared a determination to speed up negotiations for the signing of an agreement on double taxation avoidance and an agreement on investment encouragement and protection, and for creating a favourable legal framework for the businesses of both countries.

They also agreed on the expansion of a tripartite co-operation model that has been effectively implemented in Guinea Conakry and other African countries.

The African side spoke highly of Viet Nam 's efforts and expressed a desire to continue strengthening co-operation with the Southeast Asian nation in combating the illegal transport and trading of wild animals and related products.

The same day, Minh paid a courtesy call to South African President Jacob Zuma and met with South African Minister of Industry and Trade Rob Davies and co-chaired a ceremony celebrating the 20th anniversary of Vietnam-South Africa diplomatic ties in Pretoria. — VNA

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