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Relations between Vietnam and Sudan
Thursday, 24 March 2011 14:19

The relations between Vietnam and Sudan in the past years and

the prespective of relations in the future

 


 

By Mr. Adil Ibrahim Mustafa,

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sudan to Vietnam

 

  1. Sudan and Vietnam have, for a long time, enjoyed fine traditional friendship. The ideal of the struggle for national liberation and common aspiration for freedom and independence have bound Sudan and Vietnam together. Therefore, in its struggle for freedom and independence, Sudan was inspired by the heroic experiences of the Vietnamese people and the great historical leader, the beloved President Uncle Ho, for independence, dignity and national unity. So, this historical sympathy and friendship between Sudan and Vietnam paved the way for the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1969, more than 40 years ago. Since then the traditional friendship and cooperation between the two countries have been increasingly growing. The visit of H.E. Omer Hassan Ahmed El.Bashir, the President of the Republic of Sudan to Vietnam in 1995, came as a real indication for the high regard, Sudan is giving to its traditional friendship with Vietnam and the historical sympathy between the two countries, as well as the willingness of Sudan to further increase and enhance its bilateral relations with Vietnam in all fields, especially economic, trade and investment areas. Hence the visit witnessed the signing of a frame agreement on technical, trade, and cultural cooperation between the two countries.

 

  1. Following the important visit of H.E. the President of Sudan to Vietnam, some ministerial and other visits had been exchanged between the two countries. In addition to the contribution of those visits in making the two countries getting closer to each other, they also helped in identifying the areas of mutual cooperation between the two countries, namely, agriculture, fishery, oil and gas. So, on this basis, as well as the excellent political and diplomatic relations connecting the two countries, that was obviously reflected in the strong support of Vietnam to Sudan in the United Nations Security Council during its non-permanent membership term (2008-2009), Sudan took the decision to open its Embassy in Hanoi as from April 2009.
  2. The newly opened Embassy of Sudan in Hanoi gave high priority to promoting and boosting bilateral cooperation with Vietnam in the areas of economic and trade to fully tap their potential. In this regard, the Embassy successfully arranged a high ranking Sudanese delegation visit to Vietnam in October 2009 led by H.E. Ali Karti, State Minister of Foreign Affairs to discuss and boost the two countries bilateral ties. The visit came up with the following:
    1. The two countries signed an implementation agreement between Sudanese Ministry of Agriculture and VAADCO Group (a Vietnamese group headed by Prof. Vo Tong Xuan) to reactivate a MOU signed before between the two countries on the joint rice projects in the White Nile and Gazera in Sudan. The first phase of those projects has been inaugurated last March.
    2. Another agreement has been signed between the Sudanese Agriculture development Corporation – Marawe’s Dam Area and Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to cultivate rice and other corps. All the necessary arrangements have been done including arrangements to establish an agriculture research centre in Sudan led by Vietnamese experts.
    3. Regarding cooperation between the two countries in the field of animal resources and fisheries, the two countries have had a useful and fruitful negotiation during the visit of the Vietnamese technical delegation to Sudan in December 2009. It has been agreed upon holding a 5-million-USD joint project in Sudan during the period 2010 – 2015.
    4. Also the high ranking visit of the Sudanese delegation witnessed the convening of the Political Consultations Committee between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs in the two countries that discussed a wide range of bilateral and international issues, of mutual concern. The committee noted with satisfaction the increasing strengthening of the relations between Sudan and Vietnam, and expressed the desire of consolidating the bonds of excellent ties for the greater benefit of the two countries.
  • In the other hand, the two countries relationship has witnessed a significant development in the field of oil and gas cooperation. Two top senior visits have been exchanged between Sudapet of Sudan and Petrovietnam, resulted in the signing of an Oil cooperation framework agreement that enables the two companies to jointly invest in oil and gas projects in Sudan, Vietnam, and in the third countries.
  • Regarding trade relations, in fact, the bilateral trade exchange between the two countries is far beyond what is expected and what is needed to be. According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, in 2008, the two countries trade turnover scored a relatively good figure, reaching $63.4 millions, as the highest turnover ever reached by the two countries trade exchange. The main Vietnamese exports to Sudan include: electronic goods and components, pepper, garments, rice and coffee, while the main import are steel and petroleum products.

 

Concluding remarks:

As illustrated above Sudan and Vietnam enjoyed a long traditional friendship and sympathy that paved the way for the establishment of the diplomatic relation between them in 1969. The high official visit of H.E. Omer Hassan Ahmed El.Bashir, the President of Sudan to Vietnam in 1995 expressed the high regard of Sudan to its traditional friendship with Vietnam, as well as Sudan’s willingness to promote friendly ties and multifaceted cooperation with Vietnam. In this regard, Sudan took the initiative of opening its Embassy in Hanoi in April 2009. In spite of the achievements taken place since the opening of the Embassy, especially the materialization of the cooperation between the two countries in the areas of agriculture and oil and gas, we feel that cooperation is still below the ambition of both countries that possess the political will to get closer to one another and further step up cooperation in many areas. However, to translate potentials into reality, especially in light of the fact that Sudan, with its unique strategic location and rich natural resources, can be the gateway for Vietnam to Africa, we are of the opinion that some important actions and measures can contribute to further developing the bilateral relations between Sudan and Vietnam, especially in economic, trade and investment areas, and hence contribute to promoting and enhancing the overall relations of Vietnam with Africa. Those actions and measures include the following:

1st:       The opening of the Embassy of Vietnam in Khartoum in reciprocity to the initiative taken by Sudan. Of course in addition to the important role this Embassy can perform in developing cooperation with Sudan, it can, beyond doubt, contribute to promoting cooperation between Vietnam and Africa, especially in light of the fact that Vietnam needs to expand its existence in Africa so as to activate and materialize its overall cooperation with Africa.

2nd:      The establishment of the Ministerial Joint Commission with Sudan, which is an important forum to conclude the basic agreements necessary for developing and enhancing the economic relations, such as the agreements on trade, prevention of double taxation, maritime, encouragement and prevention of investment etc.

3rd:       Giving more attention to performing visits by the high Vietnamese officials to Sudan and other African countries, in order to further translate potentials into reality, from the one hand, and to reciprocate to high official visits by high African officials to Vietnam.

Finally, while I take this opportunity to express my deep regards and appreciation to “The World and Vietnam Report (WVR) – media agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam”, I would like to assure that, with our enthusiasm, our excellent traditional friendship and bonds, and our strong political will, we will continue to stand shoulder by shoulder in enhancing mutual cooperation in all fields and promoting the traditional friendship prevails between our two countries, and Africa and Vietnam in general.

 

 
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