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Vietnam & RoK to push up trade to $100bn by 2020

Released at: 13:26, 24/03/2018

Vietnam & RoK to push up trade to $100bn by 2020

President Tran Dai Quang (r) met with President Moon Jae-in in Hanoi on March 23 (Photo: VNA)

Two sides commit to target at talks during President Moon Jae-in's visit to Vietnam from March 22 to 24.

by Long Van

During talks in Hanoi on March 23, State President Tran Dai Quang and President of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Moon Jae-in agreed to lift two-way trade to $100 billion by 2020, according to a report from the Vietnam News Agency.

President Moon Jae-in and his wife arrived in Hanoi on March 22 for their first-ever State visit to Vietnam, at the invitation of President Quang.

President Quang asserted that Vietnam values developing ties with the RoK and hoped that it would continue to share its experience for the sustainable development of both countries and for peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region and the world.

Both sides agreed to maintain annual visits and exchanges, improve the efficiency and frequency of exchange and dialogue mechanisms, and extend cooperation between their governments, legislatures, Party agencies and localities and in the important fields of diplomacy, national defense and security, and legal enforcement.

Apart from adopting measures to balance trade, in which the RoK records a surplus, the two sides also vowed to improve the efficiency of the partnership across investment, engineering, energy, and labor, consider science and technology a pillar in creating new momentum for bilateral links, and extend cooperation in culture, education, tourism and people-to-people exchanges.

President Quang also welcomed RoK investment in large-scale infrastructure, industrial and smart urban areas, and the equitization of State-owned enterprises.

He asked the RoK to continue stepping up examinations of agro-fishery products and chicken and pork-derived processed food, take Vietnamese products to domestic and global distribution chains, provide Vietnam with development assistance and preferential credit, and effectively implement the 2016-2020 credit framework agreement and financial cooperation deal.

The host spoke highly of the signing of a memorandum of understanding on sending and receiving workers to the RoK under the Employment Permit System and expressed a wish that the RoK Government would continue assisting Vietnamese nationals living in the country.

The two leaders vowed to further enhance close support at international forums and jointly cope with global challenges and non-traditional security issues. They underscored the importance of ensuring peace, security, and maritime and overflight safety and freedom in the East Sea while promoting the settlement of conflicts and disputes via peaceful means in line with international law.

President Quang lauded the RoK’s efforts in accelerating inter-Korean dialogue and peacefully settling the nuclear issue of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. He reiterated Vietnam’s consistent policy of supporting the de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula and constructive actions to promote dialogue for the sake of peace, security and stability on the peninsula.

President Moon said the RoK attaches importance to developing its strategic cooperative partnership with Vietnam and considers the country an important partner in its New Southern Policy.

He welcomed the regular exchange of visits between Vietnamese and RoK ministries, agencies and localities and the further strengthening of coordination in the support and automobile industries towards a balanced trade landscape.

He committed to assisting Vietnam in human resources development, science and technology, information technology, environmental management, and agriculture, and to extend links in transport, energy, infrastructure and smart urban areas.

The RoK will continue with projects to support Vietnam-RoK multicultural families and Vietnamese brides living in both countries, he said. He also expressed his hope for Vietnam’s facilitation of RoK investment in the North-South Highway and the Long Thanh International Airport projects.

Following their talks, the two presidents witnessed the signing of cooperation agreements and met with the media.

Earlier, on March 22, President Moon and Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh attended a breaking-ground ceremony for the Vietnam- RoK Institute of Science and Technology at the Hoa Lac High-Tech Park in Hanoi.

Addressing the ceremony, which was co-organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), President Moon described the event as a milestone in the RoK’s support for scientific and technological development in Vietnam as well as the close-knit relations between the two countries.

On the same day, President Moon Jae-in and his spouse, accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, met with Vietnam’s U/23 football team, the runner-up in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U/23 Championship, and its South Korean head coach Park Hang-seo.

At the AFC U/23 Championship hosted by China between January 9 and 27, Vietnam’s team surprised the world by only going down in the last minute of the final against Uzbekistan. The team previously defeated Australia 1-0 in the group stage and beat Iraq in the quarter-finals and Qatar in the semi-finals, in penalty shootouts.

President Moon expressed his admiration of the team’s performance at the Championship under Mr. Park. He hopes the team will maintain the spirit and devotion they showed at the Championship and gain even greater achievements at regional and international competitions.

Earlier on the same day, the Vietnam Football Federation and the Korea Football Association signed an agreement on promoting cooperation between the two countries in staffing, youth training, and other issues related to football.

Also on March 22, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy in the RoK, Paik Un-gyu, held talks in Hanoi, focusing discussions on measures to complete the two countries’ trade goal of $100 billion by 2020.

The ministers recognized the impressive growth in two-way trade in 2017 and the first two months of 2018, holding that this was the result of fruitful cooperation between the two ministries in implementing the directions issued by the two countries’ leaders.

They agreed on the need to continue working closely in building joint action programs in industry, trade and energy while coordinating in designing and carrying out effective policies and measures to promote the bilateral economic and trade partnership.

The two also agreed to work together in setting up a four-party cooperation mechanism between their ministries and the ministries of agriculture to create favorable conditions for cooperation in the trading of farm produce, especially exports from Vietnam to the RoK, to reduce the former’s trade deficit.

At the same time, the RoK will continue to support Vietnam in developing its support industry and share its experience in investment and development policies, especially in sectors of interest to Vietnam such as automobiles, electronics, textiles and garments, and footwear.

The two sides will strengthen their cooperation in power, power saving, energy safety, and climate change response and put this into cooperative documents to be signed shortly.

The RoK will continue assisting Vietnam in training high-quality human resources for industry, oil and gas, and renewable energy.

They will expand cooperation in trade defense in the context of the two sides integrating more deeply into the world and facing many defense issues from other countries.

Following the talks, the two ministers witnessed the signing of five documents between the two ministries along with ten deals between enterprises of both sides.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, trade between Vietnam and the RoK jumped from $500 million in 1992 to $61.5 billion in 2017, making the RoK Vietnam’s second-largest trade partner, after China.

The RoK is now Vietnam’s fourth-largest export market and second-largest source of imports.

It mostly imports textiles and garments, telephones and spare parts, electronics, aquatic products, wood and wooden products, machinery and equipment, footwear, vehicles, and fabrics from Vietnam.

Vietnam, meanwhile, imports mobile phone and computer spare parts, electronic products, fabrics, machinery and equipment, chemicals, and fertilizers from the RoK.

Two-way trade reached $61.5 billion in 2017, a 41 per cent increase year-on-year, with Vietnam’s exports standing at $14.8 billion, a rise of 30 per cent, while imports totaled $46.7 billion, up 45.3 per cent year-on-year.

In the first two months of 2018, Vietnam earned $2.8 million from exports to the RoK, up 45.6 per cent over the same period of 2017.

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