Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong highlighted the flourishing relationship between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) in his interview granted to the Yonhap news agency before his four-day state visit to the country starting from October 1.

He said that since Vietnam and the RoK set up diplomatic ties in 1992 and bilateral ties were upgraded to a strategic cooperative partnership five years ago, their relations have developed in a strong, comprehensive and intensive manner.

In terms of economic cooperation, the RoK is now the second biggest investor and the third largest trade partner of Vietnam, he said, adding that the Korean official development assistance has actively contributed to Vietnam’s socio-economic development and many RoK businesses are operating effectively in the Southeast Asian country.

As many as 120,000 Vietnamese are living and working in the RoK, including 50,000 Vietnamese-Korean couples.

General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong expressed his belief that the friendship and strategic cooperation partnership between Vietnam and the RoK will further develop with an increase of visits by high-ranking leaders and close coordination at multilateral forums.

The bilateral ties will be deepened in all areas ranging from politics-diplomacy, security and defence, economic, labour, industry and agriculture to tourism, science-technology, education-training, and culture.

He said his upcoming visit is aimed at further deepen the strategic partnership between the two nations.

According to the Party chief, Vietnam, located between Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia with a population of nearly 90 million, is an emerging economy full of development potential and opportunities, so it is attracting much attention from foreign investors.

RoK businesses are among the most successful foreign investors in Vietnam since their operations have not only generated profits but also paid positive contributions to the socio-economic development in both countries, he noted, adding that they have become an important part of the Vietnamese economy.

Vietnam will continue to create the best possible conditions for RoK firms’ investment, particularly in infrastructure, high and green technologies, support industries, and agricultural and aquatic processing industries, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong affirmed.

Regarding a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) which is now under negotiation, the leader said the expansion of trade and investment relations will benefit all concerned parties and effectively serve each country’s prosperous and sustainable development targets.

The FTA, once signed, will open up a new opportunity for the two countries to foster their mutually beneficiary economic cooperation. It will be an important measure to realise the Vietnam-RoK joint statement for common prosperity, he said, hoping that both sides will conclude the FTA negotiation as soon as possible.

When asked about Vietnam’s contribution to peace on the Korean Peninsula, the General Secretary said Vietnam has friendship and cooperation with both the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the RoK.

It welcomes all initiatives and efforts of the parties to ease tension and improve their relations through dialogues, thus building a Korean Peninsula of peace, stability, prosperity and free of nuclear weapons, he said.

He stressed that Vietnam, within its capacity, is willing to participate in the improvement of inter-Korea relations.-VNA