Scene at 16th session of the Joint Economic Committee between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (Photo: VNA)

Seoul (VNA) - The 16th session of the Joint Economic Committee between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea convened in Seoul on October 24, reviewing outcomes of bilateral cooperation over the past year and set out new tasks.

The Vietnamese delegation was led by Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen The Phuong, while the RoK delegation was headed by Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs Yun Kang-hyeon.

In their opening speeches, both officials underscored bilateral ties have grown in all fields since the two countries set up the diplomatic relations 25 years ago (December 22, 1992).

In addition to bilateral cooperation, the two countries are important partners with significant contributions to multilateral forums and cooperation frameworks in the region and in the world.

At the event, the two sides took note of remarkable progress made in economic engagements since their last session held in Hanoi on September 22, 2016, despite difficulties and uncertainty across the globe.

They exchanged points of views on tackling difficulties and measures to further promote bilateral cooperation in various economic areas, including the participation of both nations in regional and multilateral arenas.

They shared a common view that the Joint Economic Committee has played an important role in promoting Vietnam - RoK cooperation and should be utilised by both sides to continue its contribution.

Delegates talked about joint activities across sectors, including trade, labour, official development assistance (ODA), consular affairs and justice.

As heard at the function, the RoK continued to be a top foreign investor in Vietnam with total registered capital amounting to 55.6 billion USD by August 2017. Bilateral trade hit 43.45 billion USD in 2016 and 39.2 billion USD in the first eight months of 2017. Vietnam is one of the RoK’s top priority ODA partners, receiving 300 – 400 million USD per year from the RoK Government. About 50,000 Vietnamese labourers are working in the RoK.

Both sides also discussed measures to reduce the deficit Vietnam recorded in trading with the RoK, to lift barriers for Vietnamese and Korean investors, and to effectively make use of the two countries’ human resources.

Both sides noted with satisfaction about the encouraging outcomes of their joint works in agriculture, science-technology, urban planning, education, culture, and tourism, among other sectors.

They agreed to hold the committee’ next session in Vietnam, whose date and agenda would be decided through diplomatic channels.-VNA