Hanoi (VNA) - Speaker of the National Assembly (NA) of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Chung Sye-kyun on April 24 began a three-day official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

As part of activities to mark the 25th anniversary of Vietnam-RoK diplomatic relations, the visit aims to promote the strategic partnership between the two nations.

The two NAs established cooperation with an agreement inked in 2006. The document was resigned during the official visit of Vietnam’s NA delegation to RoK led by then Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung in July 2013.

The relationship between Vietnam and the RoK was upgraded to a comprehensive partnership in 2001 and a strategic partnership in 2009.

The development of Vietnam – RoK ties has affirmed the determination of the two nations’ leaders and people, and laid a political foundation for raising friendship and cooperation to a new height.

Along with the strong growth in political relations, the economic partnership between the two nations has also witnessed strong development, particularly in trade, investment, assistance, tourism and labour.

The RoK has become one of Vietnam’s leading economic partners, ranking first among investors in Vietnam, with 5,500 projects, worth over 50 billion USD. Many large RoK brands have entered Vietnam, such as Samsung, Hyundai, LG, POSCO, SK, Lotte, Kumho-Asiana.

The RoK is also the second biggest provider of official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam. The two countries are discussing a credit framework agreement for 2016-2020, under which the RoK plans to provide 1.5 billion USD in ODA for Vietnam.

Trade value between the two nations reached 43.2 billion USD in 2016, up 17.7 percent from 2015. The Vietnam – RoK free trade agreement, effective from January 20, 2015, is hoped to create a new driving force for the two sides to realise the trade value target at 70 billion USD by 2020 in line with the high-level agreement in 2013.

There are more than 140,000 Vietnamese people in the RoK, including 50,000 labourers and 10,000 students. About the same number of RoK people are working and living in Vietnam, most of them are businessmen.

Cultural exchanges have also been held regularly to enhance mutual understanding and trust between the two nations’ people.-VNA