Secretary General Lee Hyuk’s attachment to Vietnam

Secretary General of the ASEAN-Korea Center and former South Korean Ambassador to Vietnam Lee Hyuk has made major contributions to enhancing the relationship between Vietnam and South Korea.
We met Lee Hyuk at the Vietnam-Korea investment promotion seminar on robotics and automation held in Hanoi by the ASEAN-Korea Center (AKC) and the Vietnam Association for Supporting Industries (VASI). The workshop gave trade exchange opportunities for businesses from the two countries.

Lee Hyuk said that AKC has carried out numerous activities to boost cooperation between South Korea and ASEAN countries, particularly trade and investment in Vietnam. To reduce trade imbalance, AKC has actively supported enterprises investing in Vietnam and introduced promising infrastructure projects to them.

AKC has also organized meetings and forums to boost trade between the two countries. In 2018, AKC hosted a program in which officials from the Ministry of Planning and Investment of Vietnam were invited to South Korea to hold a workshop introducing Vietnam’s foreign investment policies.

ASEAN-Korea Center's Secretary General Lee Hyuk. Photo: Khanh Long

Lee Hyuk receives the commemorative badge “For peace and friendship among nations” in Vietnam. Photo: Files

Lee Hyuk at the 6th ASEAN Connectivity Forum in Seoul in November 2018. Photo: Files

Attending the Vietnam-Korea Investment Promotion Workshop on Robotics and Automation in Hanoi in April. Photo: Khanh Long

At the groundbreaking ceremony for construction of the South Korean Embassy in Hanoi. Photo: Files

At the workshop on promoting robotics and automation in Hanoi. Photo: Khanh Long

As AKC Secretary General, Lee Hyuk has made major contributions to boosting cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries. AKC has helped develop indigenous tourism in Mai Chau, Hoa Binh province, and built tourism in world cultural heritage Hoi An. The Center has also implemented a project to help those operating in the tourism and hotel industry in Vietnam.

Before he became AKC Secretary General, Lee Hyuk was a diplomat holding important posts. He was the Ambassador to Vietnam and the Philippines, Director General of the Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Presidential Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Minister for Planning and Coordination at the Blue House.

During his diplomatic career, Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines are the countries Lee Hyuk has had the closest relationship with. Due to their close geographical distance, Japan and Korea have similarities in culture and religion, according to Lee Hyuk. Vietnam has even more cultural similarities with South Korea than Japan. It did not take him a lot of time to adapt to life here because everything seemed familiar.

With Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam to cheer on the Vietnamese U23 football team at the AFC Asian Cup. Photo: Files

Supporting the Vietnamese U23 football team at the 2018 AFC Asian Cup at My Dinh national stadium. Photo: Files 

At an exhibition of South Korean ceramics to mark
the 25th anniversary of Vietnam-South Korea diplomatic relations in 2017. Photo: Files

He gives commemorative badges to people
who have made contributions to cultural exchanges between Vietnam and South Korea. Photo: Files

He learns how to beat a gong from the E De ethnic people
during his field visit to Cu M’ga district, Dak Lak. Photo: Bui Phong

He also visits a spray irrigation model for coffee growing in Eakpam commune, Dak Lak. Photo: Bui Phong

In his term of office as the Ambassador to Vietnam from April 2016 to April 2018, Lee Hyuk successfully organized major diplomatic events. These included a concert to mark the 25th anniversary of Vietnam-South Korea diplomatic relations in 2017, and President Moon Jae-in’s two visits to Vietnam in 2017 and 2018.

“Vietnam is truly meaningful to me because the country marked my last term of office as a Korean diplomat. I will remember meetings with my Vietnamese friends where we overcame geographical and cultural gaps to share many things,” Lee Hyuk said.

The year 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-South Korea special relations. The ASEAN-Korea Center will organize special and big activities to mark this event, including ASEAN Week (in June), ASEAN-Korea Train (in October), and the first Mekong-South Korea summit to be attended by Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and South Korea.
Story: Ngan Ha & Minh Thu-  Photos: Khanh Long, Bui Phong & Files

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