RoK ranks first on list of foreign investors in Vietnam

15:12 | 24/12/2019 Economy

(VEN) - With 8,190 projects totaling US$ 65.7 billion registered in Vietnam, the Republic of Korea (RoK) has become the country’s biggest foreign investor and is playing an important role in some key economic sectors.

rok ranks first on list of foreign investors in vietnam

Vietnamese-RoK investment and trade relations are constantly growing

The biggest investor

At a Vietnam-RoK business summit in the central province of Quang Nam on November 9, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung assessed that bilateral cooperation had grown rapidly and on a stable basis, and yielded impressive achievements. He praised the RoK business community for its important role in promoting substantial and efficient investment cooperation.

Official data indicate that the RoK has surpassed Japan, Singapore and Chinese Taipei to become the largest foreign investor in Vietnam with total registered capital of US$65.7 billion as of September 2019. Vietnam has become the RoK’s fourth largest foreign investment partner, after the US, China, and Hong Kong (China). RoK investments include the processing, manufacturing, electronics, energy, transport infrastructure development, logistics, real estate, wholesale, retail, and tourism sectors, among others. Most big RoK corporations including Samsung, Hyundai, LG, POSCO, SK, Lotte, and Kumho-Asiana operate in Vietnam.

A number of RoK businesses have become strategic partners of leading Vietnamese corporations: Kebhanabank owns 15 percent of the shares of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), while SK owns six percent of Vingroup’s shares, for example. RoK businesses work with Vietnamese partners not only to access the local market but also to expand to other foreign markets.

RoK investment in Vietnam is expected to become more substantial and efficient in the near future. RoK enterprises will increase investment and cooperation with Vietnamese enterprises in automobiles and machinery manufacturing, and the petrochemical industries.

Major trade partner

Bilateral trade has been growing well. Vietnam is one of the two ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries to sign a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with the RoK. Bilateral trade accounted for 50 percent of trade between the RoK and ASEAN. The two countries are important trade partners, with complementary goods in the global supply chain. The RoK supplies components, machinery and equipment, helping Vietnam boost exports, while Vietnam is a fulcrum for RoK industrial corporations to maintain global competitiveness.

The Korea-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (KVFTA) is designed to improve the effectiveness of the legal framework, trade policies’ implementation, economic restructuring, especially the business environment, and competitiveness of the two economies. It targets balancing and increasing bilateral trade to US$70 billion by 2020.

In the first eight months of 2019, Vietnamese-RoK trade reached US$44 billion, up 2.1 percent from the same period in 2018.

Nguyen Huong