Harmony of the Mozambique – Vietnam friendship

Although it takes about 20 hours to fly from Vietnam to Mozambique, for Vietnam, the country in Africa is “closer” than it seems.
harmony of the mozambique vietnam friendship Mozambique’s Prime Minister wraps up Vietnam visit
harmony of the mozambique vietnam friendship Mozambique calls for Vietnam’s investment at PMs’ talks

It is the emotional closeness, kindled from the years when the both countries were fighting for national liberation and unification, and is now further reinforced in times of national construction and development. This friendship was once again manifested during the first official visit to Vietnam by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Mozambique Carlos Agostinho do Rosario from July 31st to August 3rd at the invitation of the Prime Minister (PM) of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

harmony of the mozambique vietnam friendship
Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong received Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho of Rosario to visit Vietnam. (Photo: VOV)
On August 1st, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong hosted a reception for Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario at the Office of Party Central. General Secretary proposed that in the near future the two Parties and the two countries should deepen the cooperative relationship in a more effective and practical manner, for the common benefits of both people as well as for peace and development of the region and the world.

Welcoming the distinguished guest from Africa, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc shared that this visit is an important milestone in the bilateral relations after the state visit to Mozambique by former President Truong Tan Sang in March 2016. During the meeting on August 1st, the two PMs discussed many important issues such as maintaining the tradition of delegation exchanges at all levels; coordinating and supporting each other at international forums; existing challenges in security, politics, and economics of both countries.

Vietnam agreed to increase development experience exchange with Mozambique in the areas of natural disaster prevention, weather forecast, climate change response, education and training, expert exchanges, and security and defense… “The two sides agreed to promote the tradition of bolstering comprehensive cooperation in all fields,” said PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc during the press conference after the meeting.

harmony of the mozambique vietnam friendship
Vietnam and Mozambique established diplomatic ties since June 25, 1975. The two nations have historically maintained a friendly relationship and have supported each other in fighting for national independence and in the national construction and economic development of both countries.. Currently, the two sides are cooperating in many fields ... (Photo:  Nguyen Hong)

The peculiarities

The day Mozambique declared Independence - June 25th, 1975 - is also the same day Vietnam established diplomatic ties with this South African country. Both countries’ histories share a common trait: struggling through hardships for national independence before achieving jubilation of final unification in 1975.

In Maputo, there exists an avenue named after Ho Chi Minh. It is often considered the symbol of historic friendship between the two countries. The avenue lasts about 1 kilometer, situated in the heart of the capital Maputo. It was named in 1977 by the first Mozambique President, Samora Moisos Machel, to honor the beloved President of the Vietnam and to express solidarity with the Vietnamese people.

Four years ago, also in August, during the official visit to Mozambique, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh together with the Chairman of Maputo City Council had officially inaugurated the name of Ho Chi Minh Avenue and planted commemorative trees at the intersection between Ho Chi Minh Avenue and Olof Palme Avenue (near City Hall). The event serves to reinforce the outstanding relationship between the two countries.

harmony of the mozambique vietnam friendship
The discussion between Vietnam and Mozambique Government leaders on August 1 in Ha Noi. (Photo: Nguyen Hong)

Rolling the carpet for investment

The two PMs believes that in the overall growing relationship between Viet Nam and Mozambique, bilateral cooperation in several fields has deepened considerably, of which economic and trade cooperation have been quite vibrant.

After the talk, the PMs have witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation to protect and preserve wild flora and fauna and the initialing of an agreement on aviation transport services.

From 2006 to 2010, bilateral trade has tripled (from 13.83 million USD to 45.35 million USD). In 2016, two-way trade turnover reached over 100 million USD, of which Vietnam’s export accounted for 72 million USD. During the dialogue, the two leaders agreed to promote further means to achieve two-way trade turnover goal of 500 million USD in the coming time. Both sides strive to make Mozambique a leading partner of Vietnam in southern Sahara, Africa, and Vietnam a bridge to connect Mozambique with the Southeast Asian region. Vietnam proposes Mozambique to facilitate Vietnamese entrepreneurs to open bonded warehouses, develop distribution channels as well as improve the legal framework for foreign investors.

In addition to the field of economic and trade, agriculture is one of the most vital cooperative areas that capture both sides’ interest to strengthen further. Ten years ago, the two nations signed a government-level agreement on agricultural cooperation. Vietnam has also sent eight agricultural experts to sign the Feeding and food crops cooperative development research project in Mozambique for the period 2013-2017 with the total investment of 2.2 million USD. Per Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, during the war to eradicate poverty in Mozambique, agriculture brought  remarkable results and made huge contributions to the Mozambique economy. Besides, he believes the rich natural resources will help the country overcome existing economic challenges.

harmony of the mozambique vietnam friendship
Mozambican PM Carlos Agostinho do Rosario (third, left), Sen. Lieut. Gen. Pham Ngoc Minh (fourth, left), Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People's Army and delegates. (Photo: VNA)

Regarding investment, Mozambique ranks 11th out of 72 nations and territories in which Vietnam has invested. A story of successful cooperation mentioned by the two PMs is Movitel – mobile communications network of Vietnam’s military-run telecom group Viettel in Mozambique, with the total investment of nearly 500 million USD. Movitel has become the second largest telecommunication network in Mozambique, contributing positively to the country’s socioeconomic development.

Beside the areas mentioned above, Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario has called upon Vietnam’s entrepreneurs to engage more in other fields such as trade, oil and gas, marine transportation, agricultural and fishery processing. He affirmed that Mozambique would like to invite Vietnamese enterprises to take part in business forums with the aim of researching investment opportunities. “Our country has very fertile land, industrious citizens and abundant workforce”, said the PM Carlos Agostinho do Rosario while calling for investors.

Despite the apparent difficulties of operating businesses in a faraway land, Vietnamese enterprises will still have advantages because Mozambique is always willing to roll out the red carpet for foreign investors, while upgrading infrastructure and promoting nation’s internal strength to further develop the country.

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Nhat Lam