Ho Chi Minh City has appealed to the Republic of Korea for investments in infrastructure modernisation, the support industry, high technology, personnel development, labour cooperation and environmental protection, the Saigon Giai phong newspaper reported.

The southern metropolis is committed to protecting the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors and ensuring a stable political and social environment for businesses to operate effectively and sustainably in the city, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Huu Tin said at a workshop in Busan city on May 28.

He highlighted the 20-year twin relationship between the two cities, adding that HCM City is home to more than 320 representative offices run by RoK companies, with the RoK ranking fourth in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) capital in the city.

Vietnamese trade with the RoK has increased 44-fold over the past two decades. Furthermore, the recently signed free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries has opened up more opportunities for Korean businesses to invest in Vietnam due to the country’s transparent investment policies.

Deputy Mayor of Busan Kim Kyu-Ok said around 10 Busan companies are registering to attend the Machinery Expo in HCM City in July, and the Korean city will send experts to survey trade activities in HCM City in October.

During the workshop, the Saigon Trading Group (SATRA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on a 1 million USD contract to import goods from the RoK’s Elade Co. Ltd.

The group signed another MoU with Heartychem Corp. on a 3 million USD contract to export sliced cassava, pressed rice husk firewood and consumer goods.

Vice Chairman Tin granted investment licences to the Tae Kwang Group and Daeyoung Electronics Company. The former will build a 39.6 million USD fertilizer plant with a capacity of 360,000 tonnes a year, while the latter will invest in a 63 million USD project to produce LED screens and electronic components in the Vietnamese southern economic hub.

That same day, Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee Le Thanh Hai and Busan Mayor Suh Byung Soo held talks to review the 20-year-old friendship between the two cities.

The Vietnamese official called upon Busan authorities to persuade more Korean businesses to invest in HCM City and Vietnam in general, especially in the support industry, hi-tech agriculture, training, art and cultural exchanges.

He revealed that the city will open a representative office in Busan to support business activities.

After the talks, the two leaders signed off on the 2015-2020 cooperation programme with comprises a number of important objectives, such as sharing information on the countries- respective investment climates and business opportunities; promoting trade; and forging links between urban, public sector and financial agencies.

Ho Chi Minh City has established friendly ties with 38 localities around the world, including Busan one of the most longstanding and effective municipal collaborations.-VNA