Hanoi (VNA) – The first-ever Maekyung Korea-Vietnam Forum is scheduled to open in Hanoi on December 6 as part of activities to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Vietnam-Republic of Korea (RoK) relations.

Organised by Seoul-based Maekyung Media Group, the Korea Cultural Industry Forum and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the forum focuses on building new partnerships, gathering some 350 participants, of whom 70-80 people are CEOs.

“Since the beginning of diplomatic relations between the RoK and Vietnam in 1992, the two countries have developed a strong bond. Now the two states are living under a “one-day living zone”, said Chang Dae-whan, Chairman and Publisher of Maekyung Media Group.

“This year’s Korea-Vietnam Forum will be an opportunity to gather the brilliant minds of the world to find ways to reinvigorate the Korean economy through strengthening its ties with Vietnam,” Chang said.

Vietnam and the RoK’s fourth largest trading partner and investment destination while the RoK is Vietnam’s third largest trading partner and largest foreign investor.

Trade between the two nations has increased 91-fold, from 500 million USD in 1992 to 45.1 billion USD in 2016. The ASEAN-Korea FTA (2005), Vietnam’s joining of the World Trade Organisation in 2007, and the Vietnam-Korea FTA (2015) have contributed to expanding bilateral trade.

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“The investment of RoK companies in Vietnam has gradually advanced from labour-intensive industries such as sewing and textiles to high value-added ones. In particular, business possibilities related to the fourth Industrial Revolution are increasing,” said Chang.

People-to-people ties between the two countries have strengthened. Vietnam is an attractive destination for Korean tourists. Some 1.5 million Korean visitors visited Vietnam in 2016. Vietnamese people, especially youngsters, are now quite familiar with Korean culture.

The forum will feature presentations by both governments’ representatives, namely Deputy Prime Minister Of Vietnam Trinh Dinh Dung, VCCI Chairman Vu Tien Loc, Korean Ambassador to Vietnam Lee Hyuk, and Lee In-ho, RoK Vice Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy.

It is also gathering speakers and decision makers across various industries, sharing visions and insights on a wide range of issues, including ‘New Business Partnership in the 4th Industrial Revolution Era’, ‘Enhancing Korea-Vietnam Cooperation’,  ‘The current state of Hallyu (Korean Wave) in Vietnam’ and ‘The Future of Vietnam’s cultural industry through Korea-Vietnam cooperation’.

Notably, the event will highlight the two countries’ efforts in strengthening Vietnam’s competitiveness in the 4th Industrial Revolution through public-private cooperation, with key tasks including improving internet and energy supply infrastructure, fostering professionals for the 21st century, and enhancing technological competitiveness.-VNA