Ho Chi Minh City agencies inked cooperation documents with some of the leading groups of the Republic of Korea (RoK) on May 25 as part of municipal officials’ working visit to the country, the Sai Gon Giai phong (Liberated Saigon) daily newspaper reported.

Representatives of the HCM City Department of Planning and Investment and the Lotte Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the Eco Smart City project. Lotte will invest some 2 billion USD in this project, located in the Thu Thiem new urban area.

Politburo member Le Thanh Hai, who is the Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee, welcomed Lotte’s projects in Vietnam, including those in the city, and noted the extensive relations between the two countries. The two strategic cooperative partners recently signed a bilateral free trade agreement targeting to lift their trade to 70 billion USD by 2020.

He pledged optimal conditions for foreign investors while asking Lotte to create an Eco Smart City both environmentally-friendly and harmonious with nearby buildings built in the 20 th century.

Lotte Chairman Shin Dong-bin said his group hopes for favourable conditions to commence the project on September 2 this year.

The same day, Secretary Hai met with Lee Chae-wook, Vice Chairman of the CJ Group, which specialises in entertainment, food, biotechnology and transport.

Lee said his business will turn Vietnam into its third largest market in the world, adding that the group plans to pour 500-600 million USD into equitised State-owned enterprises, including the Vietnam Meat Industries Co. Ltd (Vissan).

Hai presented the city’s investment attraction policies and called for more contributions from the CJ towards the growing ties between the two countries.

Following the meeting, representatives of the CJ signed three MoUs with those from the HCM City Investment and Trade Promotion Centre and the CPK and Tien Phuoc companies.

At a separate meeting, Hyosung Group Vice Chairman Lee Sang-woon said his firm plans to run several projects in Vietnam, including a water supply factory and a power plant in HCM City, while suggesting the municipality create a textile and garment industrial park so as to attract more RoK investors.

Le Thanh Hai said his city has high demand for transport infrastructure, water supply, electricity, and waste treatment; all areas that Hyosung specializes in. He asked the group to visit HCM City to discuss potential cooperation.-VNA