Top legislators talk ways to cement Vietnam-RoK relations hinh anh 1National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (R) welcomes Speaker of the Republic of Korea's NA Chung Sye-kyun ​(Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and Speaker of the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s NA Chung Sye-kyun discussed multiple issues regarding bilateral relations during talks in Hanoi on April 25.

At the talks following a welcome ceremony for the RoK legislative leader, Chairwoman Ngan highlighted the strong development of bilateral friendship and cooperation since Vietnam and the RoK set up diplomatic ties in December 1992.

In such context, Vietnam looks forward to the RoK President’s official visit and attendance in the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Da Nang city this November, she said.

The NA Chairwoman also asked the RoK to support Vietnam’s candidacy for the post of UNESCO Director-General.

She noted with satisfaction that with nearly 6,000 valid projects worth 50.98 billion USD, the RoK is taking the lead among 116 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.

Vietnam encourages big groups of the RoK to take part in its State-owned enterprises equitisation and bank restructuring, Ngan said, noting the hope that Korean companies will pay attention to technology transfer to Vietnamese partners and raise the local content in products.

She also called on RoK businesses to provide technical assistance and conduct a feasibility study of a railway route from Bien Hoa to Vung Tau cities, and carry out a pre-feasibility study of an expressway from Ho Chi Minh City to Moc Bai Internaitional Border Gate in Tay Ninh province.

Chairwoman Ngan voiced her hope that Korean firms working in electronics, processing, manufacturing, energy and infrastructure development industries will build high technology complexes and invest in industrial park infrastructure and high-quality agriculture in Vietnam.

She suggested that the RoK assist its businesses in investing in agriculture, fisheries and food processing in Vietnam, thereby improving the competitiveness of Vietnamese goods and bringing them to distribution systems of Korean firms around the world.

In terms of ODA and financial cooperation, the top legislator thanked the RoK for considering Vietnam as a prioritised partner to provide ODA, adding that the Vietnamese NA appreciates the value and effectiveness of these assistance packages which have substantially contributed to local poverty elimination and rural development.

She hoped that the RoK’s parliament will continue to supply non-refundable aid and ODA loans to Vietnam in the fields of the RoK’s strength and Vietnam’s need, such as transport, health care, environment, high technology, personnel training and startup.

The two countries should soon finalise and sign a framework credit agreement for 2016-2020, Chairwoman Ngan noted, asking the RoK to support and effectively operate the Korea-Vietnam Incubator Park in Can Tho city to develop manpower in technology and industries.

The two sides should also enhance cooperation in shipbuilding and seaport design and construction while arranging capital for the establishment of an energy safety training centre in Vietnam, she said.

On his part, Chung Sye-kyun said that the bilateral friendship and cooperation have been built on high political confidence and cultural similarities.

The two countries have enjoyed strong economic and trade development and plan to expand relation to diplomacy, security and education, he stated, adding that his country is willing to transfer technology to Vietnam.

He expressed his hope that Vietnam considers the RoK a leading important partner in economic, trade and investment relations to pursue the industrialisation and modernisation goal.

The speaker suggested that Vietnam early sign a social insurance agreement with the RoK, and back the upgrade of several RoK credit organisations’ representative offices in Vietnam into branches.

NA Chairwoman Ngan affirmed that Vietnam always considers the RoK its strategic partner in socio-economic development.

Vietnam is restructuring the banking system and creates favourable conditions for banks from other countries, including the RoK, she added.

Agreeing with the guest’s proposal on the social insurance agreement, she said she will recommend the Government to assign the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs to discuss and sign with the RoK side.

At the talks, both host and guest agreed that the bilateral trade turnover has seen impressive growth, with a 90-fold increase compared with the figure in 1992, when the two countries established their diplomatic ties, while sharing the view that specific solutions are needed to correct the trade imbalance.

Highlighting the fact that each country has about 140,000 citizens living and working in the other country, the two sides stressed the need to boost cultural exchange programmes and the teaching of Vietnamese and Korean languages in both countries.

The Vietnamese top legislator proposed increasing direct flights between the two countries to serve tourism, as Vietnam welcomed around 1.54 million Korean tourists in 2016, and nearly 530,000 arrivals in the first quarter of this year, a year-on-year rise of 29 percent.

The two parliament leaders agreed to strengthen coordination in the organisation of activities to celebrate the 25th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties this year, including the Vietnam-RoK Tourism Year and the annual Vietnamese cultural-tourism festival in the RoK.

Ngan informed her guest that the Vietnamese Government has decided to include the RoK in the list of 40 countries whose citizens can apply online for visas to Vietnam, while keeping in place the unilateral exemption of visas for RoK citizens for under-15 day stay.

She asked the RoK to facilitate visa granting and consider visa exemption for Vietnamese tourists for short stay.

The two sides agreed to continue effectively implementing the memorandum of understanding on defence collaboration signed in October 2010.

The Vietnamese side proposed that the RoK increase information exchange and experience sharing in fighting crimes with Vietnam, while strengthening security and support for the Vietnamese community and businesses in the RoK.

On future legislative partnership, the two sides will stick to the cooperation deal signed between the two parliaments in July 2013.

In the past years, the two sides have maintained the exchange of delegations, they noted, adding that the Vietnam-RoK Friendship Parliamentarian Group has operated fruitfully.

The two top legislators also concurred to strengthen the connection between the two countries’ parliamentarians as well as their collaboration at regional and international parliamentarian forums including the Inter-Parliamentary Union, ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Union, and Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum.

Vietnam is willing to work with the RoK within the multilateral and regional mechanisms, especially the UN, APEC, ASEAN and Mekong-RoK cooperation, said NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

In order to practically contribute to the fostering of partnership between the two countries, she suggested that professional committees of the two NAs work closely together in supervising the implementation of agreements signed between the two countries.

The Vietnamese NA leader thanked the NA and Government of the RoK for creating favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in the country, proposing that the RoK’s parliament continue to design effective policies to protect and support the community, especially Vietnamese women married to RoK.

On the occasion, RoK NA Speaker Chung Sye-kyun invited his Vietnamese counterpart to visit the RoK. The Vietnamese NA Chairwoman also invited the RoK NA Speaker to attend the IPU conference on climate change hosted by the Vietnamese NA in Ho Chi Minh City from May 11-13 this year.

NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan will host a banquet for the RoK NA speaker and his delegation in the afternoon of April 25.

Earlier in the day, Chung Sye-kyun and the RoK high-ranking legislator delegation paid tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum in Hanoi.-VNA