A ceremony to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Vietnam – Republic of Korea (RoK) diplomatic ties took place in Ho Chi Minh City on December 25.

Addressing the event, Deputy Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Hua Ngoc Thuan said HCM City is among the first localities to strengthen ties with the RoK, which is now the fourth largest investor, the third largest tourist market and sixth biggest trade partner of the city.

The RoK is also the fourth largest trade partner of Vietnam with two-way trade hitting nearly 18 billion USD last year. During the first 10 months of this year, the figure was about 17.2 billion USD and is expected to increase to 20 billion USD before 2015, he said.

Oh Jae-hack, the RoK Consul General in HCM City said less than 10 years after the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1992, the two countries lifted their relations to the comprehensive strategic partnership level in 2001 and the strategic cooperative partnership in 2009.

Highlighting Vietnam – RoK cooperation in politics, economics, culture and society over the past time, he said mutual trust and respect is the foundation for the development of bilateral ties.

Both sides expressed their belief that with the determination and efforts demonstrated by leaders and people of the two countries, the Vietnam – RoK strategic cooperative partnership in general and the HCM City – RoK ties in particular will grow ever stronger.-VNA