Vietnam, RoK look towards US$100 billion in two-way trade

(VEN) - Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh talked to the media about the results of a working trip to the Republic of Korea (RoK) for the ASEAN-RoK Commemorative Summit, the Mekong-RoK Summit, and an official visit to the RoK from November 24-28.
vietnam rok look towards us 100 billion in two way trade
Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh

At the ASEAN-RoK Commemorative Summit, the RoK pledged to support ASEAN partners in developing science-technology and startups. How do you evaluate the results of cooperation in this field?

Relations between ASEAN and the RoK have advanced remarkably, especially in trade and investment. The RoK has affirmed its commitment to creating close links with ASEAN by signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in 2020 in Hanoi.

The RoK has promoted connections with ASEAN in developing smart cities, building infrastructure, and forming startup ecosystems.

It can be said that Vietnam is an extremely important partner of ASEAN in promoting cooperation between the RoK and the organization. Vietnam and the RoK have conducted strong trade exchanges, both before and after the signing of the Korea-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (KVFTA). The current turnover of US$67 billion equals nearly half of total trade turnover between ASEAN and the RoK.

Regarding investment, the RoK is now the largest investor in Vietnam with total capital of up to US$66 billion.

At the meetings between Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and senior RoK leaders, the two sides reiterated the goal of achieving US$100 billion in two-way trade, while striving to increase RoK investment in Vietnam.

Given that the world and the region are experiencing instability, the goal is not easy to achieve. Firstly, Vietnam and the RoK practice trade openness and participate deeply in international integration. Therefore, trade protectionism, unilateralism and trade conflicts will have negative impacts on the development and benefits of the two countries. Economists and researchers forecast that the world’s economic recession will affect the development of many countries, including Vietnam and the RoK.

Vietnam’s strengths such as agro-fishery products are facing very fierce competition. In addition, competitiveness remains low, and the participation in the global value chains remains limited.

vietnam rok look towards us 100 billion in two way trade

How do you assess the goal of achieving US$100 billion in two-way trade?

Both sides emphasized and discussed the goal carefully, including measures to balance the current trade balance. The RoK government agreed in principle to direct its relevant agencies to coordinate with the Vietnamese side to seek solutions in order to increase exports of Vietnamese businesses.

The two top leaders of the RoK agreed with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to further strengthen cooperation between businesses, especially in science and technology, contributing to production capacity and exports of RoK businesses operating in Vietnam. This is considered a factor in contributing to Vietnam’s exports to the RoK.

RoK businesses will also create favorable conditions for Vietnamese firms to participate in value chains.

RoK leaders and its business community agreed to take advantage of Vietnam’s strengths, such as tropical agricultural products and processing industry, as well as new industries like pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical processing.

In 2018, Vietnam’s export turnover of fruits and vegetables to the RoK increased by 33 percent. The RoK is opening its market for four Vietnamese fruits. Regarding other fruits that are Vietnam’s strengths, such as dragon fruit and passion fruit, the two sides can coordinate with each other to expand the market.

We also agreed with the RoK to negotiate soon on opening the market for Vietnam’s agricultural products and seafood.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will coordinate with the RoK’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy to accelerate the process of market opening through technical negotiations.
Thu Hang, Thanh Huyen & Vu Cuong

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