Vietnam Academy Of Social Sciences

Workshop "Situation of Africa and Middle East 2011-2020 and prospects"


Although the countries of Africa - the Middle East are increasingly "oriented East", attaching importance to cooperation with ASEAN, including Vietnam in many fields. However, the two-way turnover in 2020 of Vietnam with Middle East-African countries will only reach over 23 billion USD. This shows the importance of re-examining the potentials, advantages, disadvantages, barriers and market access methods in Africa and the Middle East, in order to find effective solutions. In order to continue to effectively implement the Prime Minister's Project "Developing Relations between Vietnam and Middle East and African Countries 2016-2025".

Dr. Dang Xuan Thanh, VASS Vice President speaking at the Workshop

With the aim of creating a forum for scientists, policymakers ... to share and exchange information, analyze and evaluate the cooperation between African - Middle Eastern countries with Vietnam in all fields of economy, politics, foreign affairs, security, culture, society, ... in the period 2011-2020; share experiences, forecasts and policy recommendations to promote cooperation between Vietnam with African and Middle Eastern countries in the next 10 years. On October 21, 2020 in Hanoi, the Institute for African and Middle East Studies under the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) organized a workshop with the topic: “Situation of Africa and the Middle East 2011-2020 and prospects”. This event quickly attracted the attention and registration of nearly one hundred delegates from the embassies of countries in Africa and the Middle East in Vietnam; Delegates come from agencies under ministries, branches, businesses and universities in Hanoi and are expected to evoke many new directions, contributing to promoting the cooperation between African - Middle Eastern countries with Vietnam on all levels.

In the volatile regional and world context in the second decade of the twenty-first century, the factors affecting the relationship between Vietnam and Africa and the Middle East have many changes compared to the period before. Beginning in 2011 was the upheaval of North Africa and the Middle East (also known as the Arab Spring) until the emergence of the Islamic State forces claiming IS, the fight against extremist terrorism was and is changing the political landscape of the world. Accompanying it is the diplomatic conflict between Qatar and the Gulf countries (GCC) led by Saudi Arabia or the conclusion of the P5 + 1 agreement and soon the US withdrawal from the agreement as well as the withdrawal of troops from Syria; instabilities on the Israeli political battlefield or social unrest in South Africa and some other African countries; Russia's return to Africa through the organization of the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi ... and until September 2020, the relationship between the Middle East countries has changed a lot after Israel signed the agreements. The normalization of relations with the UAE and Bahrain has shown many upheavals that directly affect countries in this region.

Ms. Nguyen Phuong Nga, President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Associations, spoke at the Conference

On the other hand, in the context of the political-security situation in many areas of the world with many fluctuations, the US-China war, global multilateralism, the basic principles of international cooperation are facing Faced with new, more complex and unpredictable challenges, countries such as Vietnam and countries in the Middle East - Africa have made great efforts in continuing to raise the banner of solidarity, cooperation and development. sustainable development on the basis of a mutually beneficial partnership; support efforts to dialogue and peacefully resolve conflicts and conflicts, respecting international law and the fundamental principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

According to Ms. Nguyen Phuong Nga, Chairman of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Associations; In the context of the above-mentioned changes in the international political - security and economic environment and especially under the impact of the current Covid -19 pandemic, it is imperative that countries and regions need to reconsider their international cooperation policy. Over the past years, the cooperation between Vietnam and other countries in Africa and the Middle East has achieved many achievements, most flourishing after the Prime Minister of Vietnam approved the project "Developing relations between Vietnam. South with Middle East - African countries in the 2016-2025 period ", the relationship between the two sides has been increasingly focused and upgraded. However, in terms of potentials and opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation, there is still plenty of room and has not met the expectations of the Government and people of both sides.

Workshop overview

With a market of more than 1.6 billion people, covering over 36 million square kilometers, Africa - Middle East is a region with great potential for cooperation. In contrast, Vietnam is a developed country in Southeast Asia. Therefore, at the seminar, researchers, experts together discussed in-depth issues promoting economic relations, investment in agriculture, fisheries, oil and gas, telecommunications, education and health between Vietnam. South and African countries - Middle East. At the same time, frankly pointed out the challenges and obstacles that the two sides have to face such as: geographical distance, lack of information, lack of deep understanding of the market, business practices and each other's legal system. Particularly emphasizing the attention of ministries, branches and enterprises of both sides ...

On that basis, the workshop focused on exchanging measures to promote the friendship and traditional cooperation between Vietnam and African and Middle East countries in all fields. At the same time, to exchange into new, more realistic and feasible directions to turn political trust, traditional friendship relations into concrete cooperation results. Determining economy as a lever for political relations, improving the performance of cooperation mechanisms, including coordination mechanisms to promptly remove difficulties, take advantage of opportunities, and facilitate conducive to enhancing cooperation opportunities. Along with the bilateral channel, strengthen coordination with all multilateral fora to promote the connection between Vietnam and the African Union, between African countries and the Middle East and regional organizations with ASEAN ...

Delegates take souvenir photos at the Workshop

Evaluate the importance of the Workshop Dr. Dang Xuan Thanh, Vice President of VASS said that: The seminar is not only topical but also has special significance for the study of Africa and the Middle East, the opinions of the Association. Discussion will be an important scientific basis to contribute to making policy suggestions for Vietnam in promoting cooperation in many fields with countries in Africa and Middle East in the next decade. Agreeing with Dr. Vice President of VASS, Assoc. Le Phuoc Minh, Director of the Institute of African and Middle East Studies also acknowledged and appreciated the presence of diplomats, researchers, policy makers at the seminar and said that the presence This shows the concerns of the parties about strengthening cooperation to a new level. Discussions and opinions at the Workshop will be an important basis for Vietnam and African and Middle East countries to work together effectively in cooperation activities in the period 2020-2025 with a vision to 2030. /.

Pham Vinh Ha


News on date: