Phone Talks between Prime Ministers of Korea and Vietnam (Photo: VNA)
Phone Talks between Prime Ministers of Korea and Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

  Thirty years after the establishment of the bilateral diplomatic relations, the RoK and Vietnam have been successfully building a firm foundation for the ties on the basis of political trust, effective cooperation, economic practicality and the closeness as well as understanding in culture and people-to-people exchange. The RoK-Vietnam strategic cooperative partnership has become a model in the international relations thanks to its contributions to the two countries’ social and economic development and for peace, security, development and prosperity of the region. The bilateral relations are expected to be elevated to a new height and further expanded as the room for cooperation in all the fields is favourable conditions for the two countries to continue standing side by side, together entering a new development period in the next 30 years.

In economy, the RoK has become one of the economic partners of the greatest importance of Vietnam, one of the top three countries in the main cooperation fields, the biggest FDI investors with total capital nearly 80 billion USD, the third largest trader, and the second biggest ODA provider.

The revenue of its trade with Vietnam now occupies over 40 percent of that of the RoK’s total trade with ASEAN. Potential of bilateral cooperation in this field remains huge. The two countries have agreed to raise the total bilateral trade revenue to 100 billion USD by 2023 and 150 billion USD by 2030. They have also joined and been able to utilize benefits brought about by the bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The RoK government has also adopted the advocacy of accelerating its participation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, to which Vietnam is a founding member. Besides, bilateral cooperation will continue to enjoy favourable conditions thanks to the fact that their import-export structure is clearly supplementary and not directly competitive. RoK’s exports have won a big favour among Vietnamese consumers thanks to their high quality, good look and good advertisement along with the penetration of the Hallyu into Vietnam over the past many years. In the other direction, Vietnamese firms are attentive to increase their exports to the RoK such as those of Vietnam’s strength, including agro-aquatic products, food, textile products, wooden furniture, etc.

Vietnam is still holding an important position in the investment strategy of RoK’s firms thanks to its favourable geographic locations – a gateway to the Southeast Asian market - and its being a centre of transport route, both on land and in the sea, in the region and the world over. Besides, Vietnam is emerging as a new production centre of Asia – Pacific thanks to its young and well-trained workforce yet relatively cheap in comparison with the regional countries. Vietnam, with a population of nearly 100 million, has achieved an average income level and is maintaining a high growth rate, and this has created a consumption market of great potential to RoK investors. The Vietnamese Government has committed itself to creating an investment and business environment fair and attractive to foreign investors through efforts to perfect the legal framework related to foreign investment, and ensure political and social stability for foreign investors in general and those from the RoK in particular to raise their efficiency and profits in their investment and establishment of stable supply chains of high quality with production, supply and sale facilities based in Vietnam.

Bilateral cooperation in science and technology is enjoying a huge potential. The RoK has mastered many advanced technologies in digitalization, physics, biology, energy and environment which are suitable to Vietnam’s need on absorption, application and development with a hope to join the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The Vietnam – Korea Institute of Science and Technology (VKIST) has been established and commissioned with a view to accelerating the research and application of modern technology and talent incubation in this field in Vietnam in service of the development of industries and sustainable development. Samsung has also taken a short cut in the new cooperation trend in science and technology between the two countries, and started the project on building its research and development (R&D) centre in Hanoi with the largest scale in Southeast Asia with an investment of 220 million USD, scheduled to complete in 2022. The centre will focus on the research in high and new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), big data, 5G, etc. The tens of thousands of Vietnamese students who have been learning and studying in the RoK constitute a valuable human resource for the bilateral cooperation in science and technology to reap great achievements in the time to come.

The third cooperation field that enjoys large room for the RoK and Vietnam is diplomacy and security. The two countries are actively and proactively realizing cooperation programs within the framework of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), thus contributing to peace and stability in the region, bringing into play ASEAN’s centrality. Vietnam is the coordinator of the RoK – ASEAN relations in the 2021 – 2024 period, continuing to play its role of actively supporting the RoK in strengthening and expanding its relations with the ASEAN countries. Entering the year marking the 30th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic relations, the two sides have agreed to implement a series of activities to celebrate it, to organize high-level visits and exchanges, and well implement the existing cooperation mechanisms. They have also agreed to consider upgrading the bilateral relationship to a new height from the current strategic cooperative partnership.

Vietnam and the RoK have established and been effectively operating the dialogue mechanisms in diplomacy and security. The RoK has helped Vietnam raise its enforcement ability in the sea, maintain aviation and navigation security in the East Sea and solving the consequences of unexploded ordnances left by the war. At international forums, Vietnam and the RoK continue their close cooperation and bring into play the role of being active and responsible members and make many initiatives that help maintain peace, stability and stability in the region, including security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea. The RoK has tabled commitments on maintaining peace and stability and ensuring the freedom of aviation and navigation in the East Sea and other seas on the basis of respect to international law, with the latest being manifested in the joint statement following the summit between the RoK’s new President Yoon Seok-yeol and US President Joe Biden in May 2022. The RoK has also expressed its support to the sides striving to build the Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea which is binding, effective and suitable to international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982). This field of cooperation promises to help the RoK and Vietnam raise their international positions and statures and, at the same time, make bigger contributions to peace, security and prosperity of the region.

Last but not least is the cooperation in culture and people-to-people exchange between the RoK and Vietnam. Hallyu has made both intensive and extensive penetration into Vietnam, creating very positive hallmarks on the RoK culture among the Vietnamese, thus helping push up economic and investment activities between the two countries. Vietnam’s cultural characteristics such as ao dai and food are also widely known in the RoK. In every of their meetings, leaders of the two sides often refer to the fact that the RoK and Vietnam are bonded by family ties, with tens of thousands of RoK-Vietnam couples. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic relations, the two countries are holding many cultural, art and food events to help with further strengthening the mutual understanding between the two peoples, as sincerity is serving as the root of every cooperation tie between the two countries.

The past 30 years have witnessed the rapid and firm development of the RoK-Vietnam relations of friendship and cooperation. The great achievements recorded have laid a firm foundation and further broadened the cooperation horizon in all the fields for the two countries. The geo-politic and geo-economic situation in the region is seeing rapid and vigorous changes which are both challenges and chances for the two countries to strengthen their cooperation. The huge potential and room for cooperation create a basis for the RoK and Vietnam to continue jointly weather the difficulties, accelerate their social and economic development, and raise their international positions in the next 30 years.

저작권자 © 서울시티 무단전재 및 재배포 금지