Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung (L) and Chairman of the RoK’s Presidential Committee on New Southern Policy Kim Hyun-chul (Source: VNA)

Seoul (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung on December 5 spoke highly of the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s consideration of Vietnam as a key partner in its New Southern Policy.

In a meeting with Chairman of the RoK’s Presidential Committee on New Southern Policy Kim Hyun-chul as part of his visit to the country, Dung applauded the ASEAN-RoK Future-Oriented Community initiative with an emphasis on the “three Ps”, referring to people, peace and prosperity.

The relations between Vietnam and the RoK have developed rapidly, comprehensively, and with great strength, he said, adding that the two countries have become important partners to each other across all spheres.

Stressing great potential for bilateral cooperation, Dung said Vietnam has always attached importance to its strategic cooperative partnership with the RoK and suggested both sides further their collaboration in specific areas.

He called on the RoK to join hands with Vietnam in speeding up quarantine procedures of Vietnamese farm produce, increasing the import of Vietnamese pork and fresh agricultural products, improving competitiveness of Vietnamese goods, and helping Vietnamese goods participate in the global value chain of RoK businesses.

Dung also urged the RoK to assist Vietnam in the support industry, thus easing the trade deficit from the East Asian country and towards raising the total bilateral trade to 100 billion USD by 2020.

The Deputy PM appealed to the RoK Government and economic associations to encourage local businesses to expand their investment in Vietnam in such realms as support industry, mechanics-manufacturing, auto industry, electronics, semi-conductor production, clean and renewable energy, infrastructure development at industrial parks, smart urban area building, modern agriculture, and large-scale infrastructure projects through the public-private partnership (PPP) model.

RoK enterprises are encouraged to participate in the equitisation and divestment of State-owned enterprises in line with Vietnamese law and assist domestic startups, he said, pledging that the Vietnamese Government will create the best possible conditions for investors.

He also proposed the RoK side further its development assistance to Vietnam and receive more Vietnamese guest workers, with attention paid to skilled labourers, and coordinate with Vietnam in settling labour issues, including those regarding Vietnamese workers overstaying their visas in the country.

For his part, Kim Hyun-chul said Vietnam is the focus of the New Southern Policy and the RoK’s Government, relevant ministries, and agencies will continue to implement the common perceptions reached by leaders of the two countries in order to develop the bilateral relationship comprehensively.

The RoK will not pursue a trade surplus with Vietnam, he said, adding that the country will increase its import of Vietnamese goods and facilitate a technology transfer to help Vietnamese businesses raise their competitiveness.

At the same time, the RoK will assist Vietnam in training high-quality human resources like engineers and experts, and stands ready to encourage RoK firms to cooperate with Vietnamese partners in infrastructure development, and share its development experience with the Southeast Asian country, he said.

Highlighting Vietnam as the RoK’s leading partner in development assistance, the official said his country will bolster affiliation with Vietnam in labour, and create conditions for its enterprises to engage in petro-chemistry, new energy, and green growth in Vietnam.

The same day, Dung had a meeting with Chairman of the ROK’s Presidential Fourth Industrial Revolution Committee Chang Byung-gyu, during which he called for the RoK’s coordination and support in building policies, developing and applying new technologies, developing high-quality human resources, and implementing joint projects in order to cope with the impact of and optimise the opportunities generated by Industry 4.0.

Vietnam would like to cooperate with the RoK in building the National Innovation Centre – an important part of Vietnam’s Fourth Industrial Revolution strategy, and receive the RoK’s support in building the foundation for cyber security and a startup ecosystem, Dung said.

He suggested the RoK committee coordinate with other relevant ministries and agencies of the country to push ahead with cooperation projects between Vietnam and the RoK, including a project on forming the e-Government model.

In response, Chang Byung-gyu lauded Vietnam’s active preparations for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and affirmed his committee’s willingness to partner with Vietnamese agencies, especially the Ministry of Science and Technology.

The committee is also ready to organise forums for the two countries’ young people to talk about startups and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, he said.

Dung’s three-day visit has concluded successfully, contributing to developing the strategic partnership between the two countries.–VNA