Thursday, 08 December 2016 11:28

Maritime opportunities for SA students in Vietnam

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Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says the Vietnamese government will offer an increased number of scholarships for South African students to participate in Maritime studies in Vietnam next year.

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The Deputy President said this was significant to skills development as Vietnam is world renowned for ship building around.

He said this on Wednesday when he appeared at the National Assembly for his last question and answer session for the year.

He had been asked if whether, in light of his recent working visit to Vietnam and Singapore, and given the fact that Vietnam is ranked number five in shipbuilding, there is a possibility that South African youth who show potential could be sent to Vietnam for skills training in shipbuilding.

Haiphong has been long viewed as a cradle of the Vietnamese ship building industry over a number of years, the Deputy President said.

“The Vietnamese have made significant progress in building their oceans economy, in particular, the ship building part and their aquaculture.

“Currently, there are six South African students studying Maritime Economic Studies at the Maritime University in Haiphong.

“These students are studying there under scholarships that were granted by the Vietnamese government.

“In my discussions with the Vietnamese Vice President, I asked him about the possibility of Vietnam increasing the basket of courses that are offered within the Maritime discipline and also to increase the number of students who are studying at the Maritime University and the response from the Vietnamese was very positive and our Department of International Relations and Cooperation has already been informed that additional scholarships will be offered to South African students next year,” he said.

The Deputy President also said that what was also important was the fact that the Unisa School of Governance, which accompanied him during his visit to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on October 4, signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation with the Ho Chi Minh Political Academy.

He said it was expected that collaboration between the two institutions will further facilitate efforts to secure trading of South African students in Vietnam.

“Our two countries established a partnership forum in 2004 to facilitate cooperation and that cooperation is going extremely well.

“The students that I met in Vietnam are in high spirits. They are learning and we went with them to the ship building docks and they were able with great ease to tell us how ships are built and how they are participating in that ship building process.

What convinced me is that the more students we can send there to go and learn about ship building, the more we will be able to boost our own oceans economy,” he said.

Trade between South Africa and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has grown from about half a billion dollars to one and a half billion dollars ever since the two countries signed bilateral agreements.

While trade is currently in favour of Vietnam, the socialist republic is exporting a lot more goods to South Africa from the manufacturing base, while South Africa is exporting a little less from an agricultural base.

Following his trip to Vietnam, the Deputy President paid a visit to Singapore, which he said was a fruitful trip.

“That is precisely how our [Vietnam] trip went, it was a very positive trip and from there, we also went to Singapore and we were able to see how Singapore has become the leading ports authority country in the world and how they are able to utilise just that aspect of their own economy to generate a lot of economic growth.”

Last modified on Thursday, 08 December 2016 11:51