Making news

RoK President’s Vietnam visit expected to tighten bilateral ties

President of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Moon Jae-in will pay a state visit to Vietnam from March 22-24, which is expected to be a chance for the two countries to further enhance their relations.

Vietnam and the RoK established diplomatic ties on December 22, 1992. They set up their comprehensive strategic partnership in August 2001, and agreed to lift the ties to a strategic cooperative partnership in October 2009.

The bilateral political and diplomatic relations are strong, which is reflected through regular high-level visits and meetings.

In 2006, an agreement on cooperation between the two legislatures was signed, an important legal document for both sides to develop their friendship and cooperation.

The nations also established important security-defence cooperation mechanisms, including a security dialogue and defence dialogue at the deputy ministerial level.

In terms of economics, the Vietnam-RoK free trade agreement, which became effective on December 20, 2015, has opened a new chapter in bilateral economic ties.

The RoK is currently one of Vietnam’s most important economic partners, ranking first in terms of investment, and second in development cooperation, trade and tourism.

Two-way trade jumped from 500,000 USD in 1992 to 61.5 billion USD in 2017, of which 14.8 billion USD came from Vietnam’s exports, up 30 percent from the previous year, and 46.7 billion USD from the Southeast Asian country’s imports, a year-on-year increase of 45.3 percent.

The two countries are working to raise the turnover to 100 billion USD by 2020.

In terms of foreign direct investment, the RoK ranks first among 125 nations and territories pouring capital into Vietnam, with total registered capital hitting 57.7 billion USD as of late December 2017.

The RoK also provided Vietnam with 1.2 billion USD in official development assistance for Vietnam in 2012-2015, and a 1.5 billion USD loan for the country during 2016-2020.

In agricultural cooperation, it has supported Vietnam in implementing the new-style rural area model, notably the Happiness Programme carried out in the northern province of Lao Cai and central Quang Tri province.

The eastern Asia country ranks second in terms of the number of tourists to Vietnam. Last year, Vietnam welcomed more than 2 million Korean visitors, a surge of 56.4 percent year-on-year. In January this year, 316,300 Korean tourists visited Vietnam, a year-on-year jump of 84 percent.

In judicial affairs, cooperation between the Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam and the Supreme Court of the RoK started in 2002. The two countries are speeding up negotiations on an agreement on mutual judicial assistance in civil and trade affairs.

The two countries signed an agreement on cultural cooperation in August 1994, and a memorandum of understanding on cultural, sport and tourism cooperation in October 2008. A Korean Culture Centre was established in Hanoi in 2006. The Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training and the RoK Embassy in Vietnam inked a deal on piloting the teaching of Korean language in high schools on February 16, 2016.

Vietnam also signed an agreement on scientific and technological cooperation at the governmental level in 1995.

Currently, there are more than 112,200 Vietnamese people living in the Republic of Korea, while about 150,000 Koreans are living in Vietnam.