Illustration image (Source: VNA)

Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang had a working session with a delegation from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) led by Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong-nam in Hanoi on October 26 to discuss the future of Vietnam-DPRK cooperation.

The two ministers agreed to appoint working groups to study and discuss plans for further expanding bilateral cooperation with a focus on economy, trade and investment.

They also looked to boost cooperation in health care, education, science and technology, banking and transportation.

According to Minister Vu Huy Hoang, trade ties between the two countries have been limited with many business opportunities going untapped over the past years.

The two sides are scheduled to take part in a number of group discussions on cooperation in trade; support and heavy industries; and power, mining and chemical sectors between October 26 and 29.

Statistics by the Ministry of Industry and Trade show that trade between Vietnam and the DPRK has shed about half of its value over the past three years, from 15 million USD in 2012 to 8 million USD last year, largely due to differences in economic mechanisms and difficulties in communication and payments.

In 2014, the DPRK proposed establishing a special economic zone for Vietnam, which is hoped to be a symbol of their bilateral relationship.

The DPRK also pledged to offer preferential policies to Vietnamese investors in the country.-VNA