|PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc gives a speech at the business forum.
Speaking to more than 700 Vietnamese and Korean businesses at the Vietnam-RoK Business Forum in Seoul on November 28, the Vietnamese Government leader said that bilateral trade is estimated to reach close to US$70 billion in 2019 from a mere US$500 million in 1992.
The RoK has been the leading investor in Vietnam with nearly 1,000 projects, Phuc said, adding that roughly 5 million Korean tourists visited Vietnam this year.
He also showed elation at the strong partnership between the two nations across a variety of fields like health care, finance, insurance, culture, sports and human resources training while affirming Vietnam’s readiness to support and offer the best possible conditions for the RoK to carry out the New Southern Policy initiated by President Moon Jae-in, in which Vietnam is a key pillar.
PM Phuc briefed the participants on Vietnam’s situation with the high economic growth of 6.8 % in 2018 and 2019, inflation rate at 3.5% and improved competitive capacity.
Apart from the FTA between Vietnam and the RoK which became effective in 2015, Vietnam has participated in many other FTAs, especially the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
The country moved up 10 notches to 67th position in the Global Competitiveness Report 2019, and jumped three spots to the 42nd position in the Global Innovation Index (GII),he said.
Vietnam called for cooperation in education and healthcare with the RoK towards forming leading ASEAN medical centres in the Southeast Asian nation, he said adding that Korean investors need to pour their money in their strength’s fields like logistics services and shipbuilding.
|PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and RoK's Deputy PM, Minister of Economy and Finance Nam Ki Hong at the event
He reiterated the goal of reaching US$100 billion in two-way trade value in 2020, while voicing his hope that the RoK will further open its door for Vietnamese goods.
The Vietnamese government pledges to provide optimal conditions for foreign partners, including those from the RoK, to success in Vietnam, he emphasized.
In his remarks, Deputy PM, Minister of Economy and Finance Nam Ki Hong said that the close-knit relations between the two Governments have been spread to the private sector. To deal with global challenges, it is imperative for both nations to become trustworthy partners and take the bilateral ties to new heights.
He also highlighted his nation’s expanded investment in Vietnam over the years, thereby making the RoK the biggest foreign investor of Vietnam with an annual growth rate of 37%. Vietnam is also the biggest investment recipient among ASEAN member states, he noted.
He suggested Korean firms grasp opportunities to invest in Vietnam as the two countries’ relationship is at their best time.
With their strengths, Korean businesses have great cooperation and investment chances in a multitude of areas such as construction, infrastructure development, high technology and insurance, while helping Vietnam promote the potential of the private sector, developing startup, taking full advantages of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, he emphasized.
Hong said he hopes that that the two governments will work hand in hand to deal with difficulties impeding bilateral partnership amidst the ever- changing world situation and trade tensions.
He said he expects the forum will open up plenty of new investment opportunities for both sides in the time ahead.
Chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) Huh Chang-soo also hailed Vietnam as a stable economy with huge growth potential in the future.
Trade between the two nations rose 100 times since they set up their diplomatic relations, he said, noting that more than 5,500 Korean firms are currently working in Vietnam, creating about 1 million jobs in the country.
The FKI will boost closer coordination with a number of training facilities in Vietnam in training and sharing the country’s successful stories, he added
As many as 33 memorandums of understanding worth nearly US$20 billion were signed at the forum, thus laying a foundation for the RoK to increase investment capital level to US$80 billion from the current figure of over US$67 billion.
On the occasion, Vietjet announced its plan to operate new routes between Seoul and Vietnam’s Da Lat, Can Tho, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc.