Reporter: Sir, would you please share how the multi-faced cooperation between Vietnam and South Africa has been effectively implemented in 2018?
Mr. Mpetjane Kgaogelo Lekgoro: 2018 was the year in which the two countries celebrated their 25 year of diplomatic relations. The Mission jointly with the Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) organised a reception in December to mark and celebrate the moment.
The two countries continued to work on the trade barriers that impede exports and imports. The work has resulted in Vietnam allowing for experts to inspect South African grapes and oranges in February 2019.
The SA Mission in Hanoi and MOFA have agreed on the dates for the sitting of the Fourth Partnership Forum in South Africa. South Africa’s export of food products has almost doubled in 2018.
Mr. Mpetjane Kgaogelo Lekgoro, South African Ambassador to Vietnam. (Photo: VOV)Reporter: What are your impressions on Vietnam’s people and development achievements, after one year of your term as South African Ambassador to Vietnam?
Mr. Mpetjane Kgaogelo Lekgoro: The pace of development and the consistent GDP growth is something to admire about Vietnam. South Africa continues to explore ways and means of growing its footprint in the Vietnamese manufacturing and tourism sectors
Reporter: As an Ambassador, what do you wish to contribute to promoting bilateral relations between the two countries in the future?
Mr. Mpetjane Kgaogelo Lekgoro: I wish to encourage interaction and visits between the two countries at high level; Strengthen the Partnership Forum which is a consultative mechanism between the two countries; and to grow SA exports to Vietnam where it is possible
Reporter: On the occasion of the lunar New Year 2019, what message do you want to send to readers of the Communist Party of Vietnam Online Newspaper?
Mr. Mpetjane Kgaogelo Lekgoro: Chuc Mung Nam Moi. May all the lovely people of Viet Nam have a joyous and prosperous new year as we enter the year of the Pig. May this year bring you more wealth and happiness.
Reporter: Thank you very much!