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|Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Sung Yunmo signed a memorandum of understanding in Seoul. - Photo courtesy of MoIT|
The signing was witnessed by National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, who is on an official visit to the Republic of Korea from December 4 to 7. The MoU reflects the commitment of the two ministries to further lift two-way trade as agreed by the two countries’ top leaders at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Da Nang last year.
Under the action plan, the two sides will co-operate to help Vietnamese enterprises enhance their competitiveness in the fields of spare part manufacturing, automobiles, garments and textiles, footwear and electronics. They agreed to facilitate trade of agricultural products with the establishment of a working group among the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade; the RoK’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy and relevant ministries from both sides.
The Korean side agreed to help build the capacity of Vietnamese officials in trade policymaking and to improve the skills and competence of Vietnamese engineering workers and specialists in basic industries.
After the signing ceremony, Anh and Sung co-chaired the mid-term meeting of the Vietnam-RoK Joint Committee for co-operation in nuclear power, energy, industry and trade. The two sides reviewed the progress of their co-operation since the eighth meeting in HCM City in February.
Both ministers conveyed their satisfaction as most of the agreements reached during the last meeting have been effectively implemented. The two ministries have inked a variety of MoUs on co-operation in supporting the industries of automobiles, garment-textiles and footwear, energy saving, electricity, defence and intellectual property.
This year, the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy has organised more than 20 training courses for Vietnamese officials, focusing on trade policy, SME management and policies to support industrial development and manufacturing techniques for automobiles, mechanics and metallurgy, electronics and more.
The RoK has completed and transferred the $21.1 million Korea-Vietnam Incubator Park (KVIP) to the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho. It has also approved official development assistance (ODA) funding for a Vietnam-Korea technological consultancy and solution centre (VITASK) and partnered with the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade to survey the demand for support industry products from large Korean corporations. It has also made a list of qualified Vietnamese producers to help them enhance capacity in manufacturing electronic and automobile parts so they will be able to join supply chains of Korean enterprises in Vietnam.
The two ministries agreed that the Governments of Vietnam and the RoK must improve the business climate, as well as strengthen co-operation mechanisms to make enterprises of both sides drivers of economic growth. They also agreed they need to further expand new areas of partnership in the fields of trade, industry and energy.
The RoK is currently Vietnam’s biggest foreign investor, the second largest supplier of ODA behind Japan and the third largest trade partner of Vietnam behind China and the European Union (EU).
Bilateral co-operation mechanisms have been maintained such as the Vietnam-RoK Inter-Governmental Committee on Economic, Scientific and Technological Co-operation and the Ministerial-level Inter-Committee on co-operation in nuclear power, energy and industry.
In the first 10 months of the year, two-way trade hit $54.2 billion. As of October 2018, the RoK was the biggest investor among the 128 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, running 7,323 projects worth $62.1 billion and accounting for 18.3 per cent of the total figure.