A panel discusses the ramifications of the US-China trade war at a conference on “US–China Trade War: Opportunities and Challenges for Vietnamese Enterprises” held in HCM City. (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - Korean entrepreneurs consider Vietnam a key for the future of the Republic of Korea, said Choi Bong-sik, Chairman of the World Overseas Korean Traders Associations (OKTA).

Speaking at a conference in HCM City on December 13, Choi said that more than 7,000 Korean companies are operating in Vietnam.
The World OKTA has 141 offices in 70 countries with more than 7,000 official members and 15,000 young members representing the next generation of traders, he said. 

The RoK and Vietnam together have the second-highest trading performance among 200 countries over the world, only after China.

In Vietnam, the RoK is the number one country in terms of FDI, with 30 percent of Vietnam’s total FDI, which is 3.5 times higher than that of Japan, which is second.

Trade between the two countries is expected to continue to expand because of the Korea-Vietnam FTA, he said.

“The RoK has world-class technology in many areas of industries, and its small- and medium-sized enterprises want to enter the global market to overcome price competitiveness,” he said.

He said the RoK considers Vietnam as the next to China. “It is never easy to find your strategic partners for your future from North America, the EU or even Japan,” he said.

In the first 10 months of the year, two-way trade hit 54.2 billion USD. The two countries are working hard to raise the figure to 100 billion USD by 2020.

The RoK is the second largest recipient of Vietnamese guest workers, behind Taiwan, while Vietnam is the second largest exporter of labourers to the country, behind China.

In recent years, the RoK has emerged as the second largest source of tourist arrivals to Vietnam, behind China. Last year, more than 2.5 million Korean tourists came to Vietnam, up 56 percent year-on-year. In 2017, the number of Vietnamese visitors to the RoK neared 325,000, up 29 percent annually.

During the January-October period, 2.8 million Korean visitors landed in Vietnam, up 48.3 percent annually, while more than 440,000 Vietnamese people visited the RoK, up 37.3 percent.–VNA