Vietnam, RoK seek significant trade boost

08:53 | 16/04/2018 Cooperation

(VEN) - The recent state-level visit to Vietnam by the President of the Republic of Korea (RoK), Moon Jae-in, and a delegation of Korean officials, marked a new milestone in cooperation between the two countries, contributing to deepening their bilateral strategic partnership.

vietnam rok seek significant trade boost
Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang (left) reviews a guard of honor with the RoK’s President Moon Jae-in during a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi

US$100 billion trade target

At a meeting with the media following their talks, Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang and his RoK counterpart Moon Jae-in said they had discussed measures to expand economic cooperation and emphasized their determination to raise bilateral trade to US$100 billion by 2020 along with efforts to balance trade. The two sides agreed to encourage investment cooperation, especially in fields such as support industries, electronics, energy, high technology and infrastructure.

President Quang said the two sides agreed to further enhance the quality and effectiveness of bilateral cooperation in manufacturing, accelerate technology transfer in the field of support industries, automobile, engineering, textiles and garments; increase cooperation in renewable energy, energy security and energy saving; and promote comprehensive cooperation in the field of environment and protection of natural resources.

President Moon Jae-in affirmed the RoK would provide Vietnam with greater assistance in material and spare part industries, building a firm foundation for bilateral trade. The two leaders agreed to boost cooperation in transport and infrastructure, and create an impetus for growth, such as advanced techniques and smart cities, in order to take advantage of the fourth industrial revolution or Industry 4.0. The RoK will concentrate on investing in Vietnam’s central region through disarmament projects, as well as the construction of hospitals and schools.

Deepening strategic partnership

Addressing a Vietnam-RoK Business Forum, President Quang affirmed that Vietnam considers Korean businesses as strategic partners in the process of economic restructuring to develop a knowledge-based economy, promote creative innovations, and enhance the quality of human resources and national competitiveness. He expressed his hope that the two business communities will continue sharing new ideas and creative solutions to become pioneers in economic linkages, contributing to strengthening and deepening the strategic partnership between Vietnam and the RoK.

Expressing appreciation for the results of economic and trade cooperation in recent times, President Moon Jae-in said 5,500 Korean companies have invested in Vietnam and created good jobs for millions of Vietnamese people. This cooperation is for mutual development and benefits.

Over the past 25 years since the two countries established diplomatic relations, cooperation between Vietnam and the RoK has developed rapidly in a wide range of fields. The RoK is the largest foreign investor in Vietnam, with total capital reaching US$57.6 billion by the end of 2017.

General Department of Vietnam Customs data show that in 2017, bilateral trade reached US$61.5 billion, up 41.3 percent compared with 2016, with Vietnamese exports to the RoK accounting for US$14.8 billion, up 30 percent, and imports from this market accounting for US$46.7 billion, up 45.3 percent. In the first two months of this year, bilateral trade reached US$10.3 billion, up 32.4 percent compared with the same period last year. This included US$2.8 billion worth of Vietnamese exports to the RoK, up 45.6 percent, and US$7.5 billion worth of imports from this market, up 28.1 percent.

The RoK is a major export market for key Vietnamese products, such as textiles and garments, telephones and components, electronic products, seafood, timber and wood products, machinery, equipment, instruments, spare parts, footwear, transport means and spare parts, fibers and yarns. Vietnam imports from the RoK telephone and computer components, electronic products and components, fabrics, machinery, equipment, chemicals and fertilizers.

During the visit, the two sides signed a number of agreements. - A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the RoK’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on cooperation in support industries; - An MoU to promote cooperation in the context of Industry 4.0 between the Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communications and the RoK’s Ministry of Information and Communication; - An MoU on cooperation in transport infrastructure development and transportation technology between the Vietnamese Ministry of Transport and the RoK’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport; - An MoU on cooperation in urban construction and development between the Vietnamese Ministry of Construction and the RoK’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

During the visit by RoK President Moon Jae-in, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh had talks with RoK Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Paik Ungyu. The two ministers signed five cooperation documents and witnessed the signing of a document at a deputy ministerial level, two documents at a department/agency level, and 10 documents between businesses.

Nhat Quang & Nguyen Huong