08:18 | 11/02/2016 Cooperation
(VEN) - The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) has organized a range of activities to promote trade and investment connections between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK). Vietnam Economic News’ Diem Phuong talked with KOTRA Hanoi General Director Lee Kyu Seon about its activities in 2015 and plans for 2016.
In 2015 Vietnamese and Korean business delegations participated in a number of business connection activities in each other’s countries. Could you share the results of these activities?
Last year KOTRA Hanoi launched a number of programs aiming to assist Korean businesses in investment and export activities. These programs attracted the participation of a large number of Korean businesses.
We also organized a Korea-Vietnam Day in Seoul event with the attendance of representatives from 17 Vietnamese groups and corporations such as Petrolimex, Vinatex, Vingroup, and Hapro. Through this event, Vingroup has cooperated with a Korean partner in a hi-tech agricultural project aiming to produce cordyceps sinensis, a kind of medicinal mushroom. A Korean kimchi producer has signed a US$100,000 export contract with a Vietnamese company.
Apart from investment promotion activities, we also held talks between Korean investors and Vietnamese local authorities to seek ways to deal with problems that faced Korean investors.
Trade between Vietnam and the RoK reached more than US$33.64 billion in the first 11 months of 2015. What do you think of the structure of goods that are traded between the two countries?
Statistics show that materials such as semiconductors, wireless telecommunications devices, steel shapes, oil and gas accounted for 92 percent of Korean exports to Vietnam in the third quarter of 2015.
Notably, the growth in Korean exports to Vietnam depends on increases in the import of machinery and equipment by Korean businesses investing in Vietnam. In the first nine months of 2015, the export of Korean production materials to Vietnam grew 53 percent compared with the same period in 2014.
Major Vietnamese exports to the RoK include textiles, leather, footwear, and seafood.
Consumer goods accounted for an inconsiderable percentage in the structure of products that are traded between the two countries. However, Korean consumer goods exports to Vietnam grew 17 percent in the first three quarters of 2015. Small and medium-sized businesses of the RoK expect to increase consumer goods exports to Vietnam because consumer goods are among products enjoying tax preferences under the RoK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement that has taken effect.
Could you share your expectation about Vietnam-RoK trade growth in the coming period and KOTRA’s plan to contribute to bilateral trade?
I expect strong increases in bilateral trade as well as Korean investment in Vietnam. Hopefully, bilateral trade will reach US$70 billion by 2020.
To contribute to realizing this target, KOTRA Hanoi is outlining plans for organizing many business activities in association with the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency and the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, for example the participation of Korean businesses in food exhibitions, and Vietnam Expo 2016.
In addition, KOTRA Hanoi will continue assisting Korean businesses investing in Vietnam through investment promotion activities as well as dialogues for investors to talk about their difficulties.