|At the working session. — VNA/VNS Photo Trần Việt
HÀ NỘI — Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyễn Hồng Diên held a working session with Ambassador of South Korea to Việt Nam Park Noh-wan in Hà Nội on Wednesday to discuss measures to further facilitate cooperation between the two countries in trade, industry, and energy.
Both sides agreed that they boast major potential to further expand their economic and trade ties to match their sound political relations.
Sharing similarities in consumer interests, having a complementary goods structure, and being members of many joint free trade agreements, Việt Nam and South Korea have seen increasingly tight links in the global value chain, they noted.
Believing that COVID-19 is likely to remain a complex issue and create difficulties in bilateral economic and trade ties, Diên and the ambassador sought measures to promote trade, industrial, and energy cooperation between the two sides in the future.
They agreed to continue working closely together and to optimise the efficiency of existing bilateral cooperation mechanisms to reach specific goals, including in COVID-19 prevention and control, while implementing action plans to realise the target of US$100 billion in two-way trade by 2023.
Both sides will strengthen links in the Việt Nam-South Korea supply chain while fostering cooperation in energy, strengthening the operations of the Việt Nam-South Korea Centre for Consultation and Technology Solutions, and organising regular dialogues between the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Korean enterprises.
Diên shared the difficulties facing Korea-funded projects amid COVID-19, including those related to the entry of experts and high-quality human resources into Việt Nam, especially in projects in Bắc Giang, Bắc Ninh, Vĩnh Phúc and Thái Nguyên provinces.
He underlined that these difficulties are only temporary and that the localities will promptly bring COVID-19 under control.
He asked for support from Korean enterprises for Việt Nam’s measures in COVID-19 prevention and control, to avoid the spread of the virus in the community.
In order to ensure safe and continued production at foreign firms and those from South Korea, Diên asked the ambassador as well as the Samsung Group and the SK Group, which have signed agreements on COVID-19 vaccine production in South Korea with the Moderna and Novanax Groups, to assist Việt Nam in accessing vaccine sources so the country can reach its goal of conducting large-scale vaccinations, especially among workers at companies in industrial parks, including those from South Korea.
Ambassador Park Noh-wan and representatives from Korean firms affirmed that they will try to provide Việt Nam with better access to COVID-19 vaccines, helping the country implement its “dual targets” of protecting people’s health and speeding up socio-economic development and recovery in the “new normal”.
According to figures from the Asian-African Market Department, in the first four months of 2021, two-way trade hit $23.7 billion, up 15 per cent year-on-year, with Việt Nam’s exports of $7.1 billion being a year-on-year increase of 14.3 per cent. Việt Nam posted a trade deficit of about $9.5 billion with South Korea in the period, up 9.3 per cent over the same period last year.
South Korea is Việt Nam’s largest foreign investor, with 9,076 projects and capital of nearly $72 billion as of May 20, 2021. — VNS