The official visit of Speaker of the National Assembly (NA) of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Chung Sye-kyun from April 24-26, aims to promote the strategic partnership between the two nations.
The two sides will take the occasion to discuss bilateral cooperation between the two nations, the two NAs, and international and regional issues of common interest.
The two NAs established cooperation with an agreement inked in 2006. The document was resigned during the official visit of Vietnam’s NA delegation to RoK led by then Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung in July 2013.
Over the past year, leaders of the two sides’ NA have visited each other at the beginning of their tenure, while parliamentary delegation exchanges at all levels have been held with good outcomes.
The visit of the RoK legislative leader is part of activities to mark the 25th anniversary of Vietnam-RoK diplomatic relations.
During the past 25 years, ties between Vietnam and the RoK were upgraded to a comprehensive partnership in 2001 and a strategic partnership in 2009.
The development of Vietnam – RoK relations has affirmed the determination of the two nations’ leaders and people, and laid a political foundation for raising friendship and cooperation to a new height.
Along with the strong growth in political relations, the economic partnership between the two nations has also witnessed strong development, particularly in trade, investment, assistance, tourism and labour.
The RoK has become one of Vietnam’s leading economic partners, ranking first among investors in Vietnam, with 5,500 projects, worth over 50 billion USD. Many large RoK brands have entered Vietnam, such as Samsung, Hyundai, LG, POSCO, SK, Lotte, Kumho-Asiana.
The RoK is also the second biggest provider of official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam. The two countries are discussing a credit framework agreement for 2016-2020, under which the RoK plans to provide US$1.5 billion in ODA for Vietnam.
A number of bilateral cooperation mechanisms have been maintained, such as the Ministerial Joint Committee for Nuclear Power, Energy and Industry; and the Inter-Government Committee for Vietnam – RoK Economic Cooperation.
Trade value between the two nations reached US$43.2 billion in 2016, up 17.7 percent from 2015. The Vietnam – RoK free trade agreement, effective from January 20, 2015, is hoped to create a new driving force for the two sides to realise the trade value target at US$70 billion by 2020 in line with the high-level agreement in 2013.
There are more than 140,000 Vietnamese people in the RoK, including 50,000 labourers and 10,000 students. About the same number of RoK people are working and living in Vietnam, most of them are businessmen.
Cultural exchanges have also been held regularly to enhance mutual understanding and trust between the two nations’ people.
The two nations are also negotiating an agreement on judicial support in civil and trade affairs to protect the legitimate rights and interests of each other’s individuals, organisations and businesses.