|Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong. — VNA/VNS Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — A future free trade agreement (FTA) between Viet Nam and South Korea would help realise their aspirations for common prosperity and mutual benefit, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong said yesterday.
Speaking on the eve of a four-day official visit to the Republic of Korea that begins today, he also said that the ties of friendship and strategic partnership between the two countries would provide a political foundation to consolidate policy dialogue and bilateral co-operation in many areas.
Trong, who is leading a delegation of high-ranking party and Government officials, is making the visit at the invitation of RoK President Park Geun-hye.
In an interview with South Korean news agency Yonhap, Trong said relations between the two countries had advanced significantly in many areas, particularly since they elevated their relationship to a strategic partnership five years ago.
"South Korea is currently Viet Nam's second largest investor and third largest trade partner. Korean official development assistance has contributed greatly to Viet Nam's socio-economic development and many Korean businesses have been operating successfully in Viet Nam," he said.
Both countries have seen 1 million reciprocal visits a year. Approximately 130,000 South Koreans live and work in Viet Nam and 75,000 Vietnamese work and study in the Republic of Korea.
Trong said strengthening co-operation in economics, trade, investment, finance, education, training, external relations, labor, defense, security, industry, tourism, science, and technology would contribute to the sustainable growth of both nations.
"Viet Nam welcomes and will continue creating favorable conditions for Korean businesses to invest in the country," he said.
Viet Nam encouraged investment in infrastructure development, high-tech industries, green technology, mechanical engineering, support industries, agricultural produce and seafood processing, he added. — VNS