Vietnam and South Korea considered ways to bolster trade and investment ties to bring their bilateral trade to US$100 billion next year at the Vietnam-South Korea Business Summit last Friday.
A representative of Thua Thien-Hue Province signs a deal with a South Korean partner to develop the industrial infrastructure in the central province, witnessed by Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung
Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung and Chairman of South Korea’s Presidential Committee on the New Southern Policy Joo Hyung-chul co-chaired the event.
The summit, which gathered more than 250 major Korean firms and their Vietnamese peers, created an opportunity for the two governments and their business communities to exchange viewpoints and explore prospects and cooperation opportunities, with a view to fostering their strategic partnership.
Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung noted in his remarks that the economic ties between the two countries have grown significantly, recording a total of 8,190 projects worth some US$65.7 billion.
Korean investors have made significant contributions to Vietnam’s core economic sectors, such as textiles and garments, electronics, automotives, construction and services.
South Korea was one of Vietnam’s main trade partners with bilateral trade turnover of US$65.8 billion in 2018, and US$44 billion between January and August this year.
Vietnam welcomes the New Southern Policy, which focuses on the people and peace to promote prosperity, with Vietnam being regarded as a key partner of South Korea, Dung stated.
In the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, Vietnam is transforming itself into a digital economy and pushing for greater innovation and development of the business community.
However, the senior Government leader admitted that Vietnam has a long way to go before it will become a modern and industrialized country.
Vietnam wants to be an active player in Industry 4.0 and hopes South Korean companies will create products relevant to this revolution in the country, he stressed.
He said Vietnam values foreign investment in the country’s development and is striving to streamline its regulatory framework and enhance its infrastructure and manpower quality, paving the way for capital mobilization.
Vietnam expects to foster relations with South Korea by playing to its strengths while encouraging more investment in the fields of processing, manufacturing and supporting industries, hi-tech agriculture, energy, infrastructure and smart urban development, among other things.
Dung recommended Vietnamese and Korean business communities exchange new ideas and creative solutions to support their joint startup and collaboration projects.
The Vietnamese Government stands ready to offer full support to Korean investors to do business in Vietnam, particularly in the central region, Dung said.
With a view to raising the bilateral trade value to US$100 billion by next year, Dung urged South Korea to ease the import of farming products, such as fruits and pork, and support Vietnam in developing auxiliary industries to ensure balanced trade ties.
Meanwhile, Joo Hyung-chul stated that in an effort to fulfill the target, the Korean side would promote the logistics and manufacturing activities of Korean businesses in Vietnam.
He urged the two sides to promote advanced technology and make use of Industry 4.0, fifth-generation (5G) network service and trends among innovation startups, as well as to develop smart cities though economic cooperation.
Korean firms have long invested in the northern and southern parts of the country, so it is time for them to focus on the central region, he remarked, adding that a Korean consulate general is expected to be located in the central coastal city of Danang after the opening of an office of the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency there. SGT
There will be no need to wait until next year to see new waves of South Korean investment into Vietnam, as new developments take shape on the back of the latest moves from the governments of the two countries.
Vietnam’s retail market is growing at an annual rate of 10.9% in the 2013 – 2018 period, while most leading names in the market come from the Republic of Korea (RoK) and Japan.