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Vietnam wants RoK to assist in COVID-19 recovery: foreign minister

Vietnamese foreign minister Bui Thanh Son has asked for the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s assistance in the COVID-19 fight to promote socio-economic recovery and restore normalcy for people-to-people exchanges.

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Vietnamese foreign minister Bui Thanh Son and Republic of Korea counterpart Chung Eui-yong greeted as they met for talks in Hanoi on Wednesday. — VNA/VNS Photos Minh Duc

He made the request during talks with his RoK counterpart Chung Eui-yong in Hanoi on Wednesday as the latter is on an official visit to Vietnam from June 21-23.

Vietnamese foreign minister Son congratulated the RoK on its achievements in economic development and COVID-19 prevention and control.

Chung congratulated Vietnam on successfully organising the 13th National Party Congress, the election of the deputies for the 15th National Assembly and People's Councils at all levels for the term 2021-26, and expressed appreciation for Vietnam’s ongoing tenure as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

He also said he believes Vietnam will record more achievements in socio-economic and foreign affairs in the near future.

The two ministers agreed on the importance of developing of the Vietnam-RoK strategic co-operative partnership and expressed pleasure at the major co-operation achievements the two countries have witnessed in many fields despite the pandemic, as high-level exchanges between Vietnam and RoK’s senior leaders have been maintained flexibly.

The two sides also concurred that the two foreign ministries should boost co-ordination and promote co-operation in all fields in the spirit of the agreement reached between the two countries' senior leaders, contributing to elevating the partnership, especially with regards to COVID-19 prevention and control, expanding investment and trade, development assistance, and citizen protection.

Regarding regional and international issues of mutual concern, the two countries’ top diplomats said they would continue to work together via multilateral mechanisms such as the United Nations and ASEAN, among others – especially as Vietnam is set to become the co-ordinator of ASEAN-RoK relations starting August this year.

They also said they would support the maintenance of peace and stability in the region, resolve conflicts – including those in the South China Sea (known in Vietnam as the East Sea) – via peaceful measures in line with international laws, and contribute to the promotion of dialogue and co-operation in the Korean Peninsula.

Son said Vietnam wants to bolster the Vietnam-RoK partnership, especially as the two countries will celebrate the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations next year, and that the country is highly appreciative of RoK’s New Southern Policy, which positions Vietnam and ASEAN as key partners.

Son asked the RoK to facilitate the access of Vietnamese goods to its market and to join the global supply chain of RoK enterprises, in a bid to reach a balance in trade and increase two-way trade value to US$100 billion.

The Vietnamese diplomat said he also hoped to improve investment quality, expand ties in labour, science and technology, promote co-operation in research, production and support Vietnam in access to COVID-19 vaccines.

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After the talks, the two foreign ministers witnessed the signing of the memorandum of understanding between Vietnam's National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology and the Korea International Cooperation Agency on the COVID-19 response programme.

Chung Eui-yong said in the New Southern Policy, the RoK cherishes and hopes to bolster relations with Vietnam and stressed that the RoK will be a key partner of Vietnam’s in its achievement of socio-economic development targets.

The RoK also shared Vietnam’s concerns and efforts to reach trade balance and expected Vietnam to help RoK firms in the country ensure stability for the supply chains in the context of COVID-19, he said.

The RoK ranks first in investment in Vietnam with a total registered capital of US$71.85 billion and more than 9,000 active projects, and second in terms of trade with turnover in 2020 reaching $65 billion.

In the first five months of 2021, bilateral trade hit $24.9 billion, up 15.5 per cent over the same period in 2020. 

Source: Vietnam News

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