The Republic of Korea (RoK) is the largest source of foreign investment in Vietnam , with an accumulated capital infusion of 23 billion USD, said the RoK Consul General in HCM City Kim Sang Yoon.

At the Oct. 4 meeting held by the HCM Union of Friendship Organisations to celebrate the founding anniversary of the RoK (Oct. 3), Consul General Kim Sang Yoon said the cooperative relations between Vietnam and the RoK have strongly developed since the two countries established their diplomatic ties 18 years ago, with two-way trade turnover increasing from 500 million USD in 1992 to 9.5 billion USD.

At the meeting, Chairman of the HCM City Vietnam-RoK Friendship Association Vu Van Hoa thanked the RoK for its support to Vietnam - and HCM City in particular - during the national construction and development.

In 2009, Vietnam received 985 million USD in aid from the RoK Economic Development Cooperation Fund or 20 percent of the fund’s budget, Hoa said.

The RoK has also provided non-refundable aid to help Vietnam develop infrastructure systems, health care and environmental programs, he said.

In recent years, cooperation in tourism, education, sports and culture has borne fruit.

About 59,000 Vietnamese people are working and studying in the RoK and tens of thousands of Vietnamese brides have married RoK men, while many thousands of RoK families are living in Vietnam , according to the Vietnam-RoK Friendship Association.

Up to July of this year, the RoK provided the second largest number of tourists to Vietnam , with 368,000 arrivals./.