Vietnam vows to make active and responsible contributions to the ASEAN-Republic of Korea dialogue relations at the commemorative summit marking the 25th anniversary of ASEAN-RoK Dialogue Relations, which is slated to be held in Busan on December 11-12.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will attend the commemorative summit at the invitation of RoK President Park Geun-Hye. On the occasion, he will also make a working visit to the Northeast Asian country from December 10-12, aiming to boost the Vietnam-RoK strategic partnership.
The commemorative summit, which takes the theme of “Building Trust, Bringing Happiness”, is expected to focus on reviewing and drawing out development orientations for ASEAN-RoK dialogue relations in the time to come. ASEAN and RoK leaders will also discuss regional and international issues of mutual concern and approve the summit’s joint statement on the vision for their relationship, which is expected to define the orientation and create a framework for the bilateral strategic partnership’s expansion in all domains such as politics-security, economy, and culture-society.
Regarding political and security aspects, ASEAN and the RoK are to continue promoting dialogue and cooperation in ASEAN-led regional processes and frameworks, as well as working together in preventing and settling conflict, coping with traditional and non-traditional security challenges, ensuring maritime and aviation security and safety in the East Sea so as to maintain regional peace, stability, and prosperity.
Both sides will maximise the ASEAN-RoK Free Trade Agreement and strive to conclude the negotiation on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement by the end of 2015. They will also foster two-way trade and investment, support small- and medium-sized enterprises and assist the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity and the Mekong-RoK Plan of Action for the 2014-2017 period.
At the same time, the two sides will enhance cultural and people-to-people exchanges to boost mutual understanding along with collaboration in human resource development, science-technology, information-communication, cyber and energy security, and disease prevention and control. ASEAN and the RoK will also jointly cope with climate change, protect the environment, and manage forest and water resources while working closely to realise the Millennium Development Goals in 2015 and beyond.
The relations between Vietnam and the RoK have also been growing vigorously in all areas since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1992 and the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership in 2009.
The RoK is one of the leading economic partners of Vietnam. As of June 2014, the RoK had 3,687 investment projects worth US$31.2 billion in Vietnam, ranking first in terms of project number and second in registered capital among foreign investors in the Southeast Asian country.
The Northeast Asian nation is Vietnam’s third largest trade partner with two-way trade reaching US$27.5 billion in 2013, which was four-fold the 2007 level and is expected to hit US$70 billion by 2020. Vietnam mainly imports computers, electronic products, components and machinery from the RoK while exporting garments, crude oil, and seafood.
Additionally, the RoK is the second largest bilateral donor of official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam, after Japan, with US$1.2 billion of ODA committed for the 2012-2015 period.
The two sides have signed a cultural agreement and a memorandum of understanding on cooperation on culture, arts, sports and tourism along with a number of deals on educational cooperation and youth exchange.
The RoK is the second largest market for Vietnam’s tourism with 750,000 visitors in 2013. It is also a major market for Vietnamese guest workers.