Vietnam and South Korea discuss comprehensive ties

24/6/2021| 10:45

South Korea is Vietnam’s biggest investor and second-largest trade partner.

Foreign ministers of Vietnam and South Korea discussed different fields for enhanced bilateral relations when they met in Hanoi on June 23, focusing on economic ties, manpower, tourism, people-to-people links.

South Korea's Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong (L) and Vietnam's Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son in Hanoi on June 23.

 The South Korean foreign minister visited Vietnam on June 21-23 to attend the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM)’s High-level Policy Dialogue held in Hanoi.

At talks with his South Korean counterpart Chung Eui-yong, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son expressed his delight at the fruitful development of Vietnam-South Korea relations in all fields in recent years, affirming that Vietnam always attaches importance to its relations with South Korea, considering the country as one of its top partners.

In terms of investment, South Korea is Vietnam’s biggest investor with US$71.85 billion poured in more than 9,000 projects. South Korean investors are running the business in 55 cities and provinces across Vietnam, mainly in Bac Ninh, Hanoi, Dong Nai, Haiphong, Thai Nguyen, and Ho Chi Minh City.

As for trade, South Korea is Vietnam’s second-largest trade partner with a two-way turnover of US$65 billion in 2020. Between January and May, the volume rose 15.5% to US$24.9 billion.

The two countries are heading towards the trade target of US$100 billion by 2023 with a more balanced direction and better investment in Vietnam.

To facilitate the economic ties, both countries will maintain the operations of the Joint Governmental Committees on Science and Technology, the Joint Ministerial Committee on Nuclear Power, Energy, and Industry, and the Dialogue on Economics between deputy prime ministers.

The two sides discussed measures for further ties.

 South Korea is the second-largest recipient market of Vietnam’s laborers. Currently, about 40,000 Vietnamese people are working in South Korea. The cooperation on human resources is undertaken through the Korean Employment Permit System (EPS) and seasonal worker contracts for three-six months.

Regarding tourism, South Korea is one of Vietnam’s major source markets. In 2019, roughly 4.2 million South Korean arrivals came to Vietnam, up 23.1% on-year. On average, there are around 1,000 direct flights between Vietnam and South Korea monthly.

South Korea is home to approximately 216,000 Vietnamese people, including 40,000 workers; 60,000 spouses; 50,000 students, post-graduates, and interns; and 32,000 people of short-term residency. Meanwhile, Vietnam houses more than 160,000 South Koreans, mostly businesspeople.

During the meeting, the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) signed a memorandum of understanding on Covid-19 response and mutual support in the fight against Covid-19.

Concerning the trade target of US$100 billion by 2023, the two countries have agreed to focus on four fields, namely promoting South Korean investment in Vietnam; supporting South Korean enterprises in Vietnam to improve export products to the East Asian country; improving the competitiveness of Vietnamese enterprises whose items (textile and garment, footwear, furniture, agricultural and aquatic products, processed food) shipped to South Korea; and enhancing technology transfer and technical support from Korea to improve the competitiveness of Vietnam’s automobile, textile, chemical, manufacturing, and component industries.