Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has affirmed that Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) had significant potential for further cooperation.

PM Dung made this statement while receiving the newly-accredited RoK Ambassador Ha Chan Ho in Hanoi on June 15.

PM Dung added that developing cooperative opportunities would bring practical benefits to both sides.

He also said that the two countries should boost cooperative programmes on trade and investment as well as in the labour, education, national defence and security sectors.

PM Dung asked the Ambassador to actively accelerate bilateral cooperation, especially to raise trade turnover between the two countries, which hit 13 billion USD in 2010, ranking the RoK at 6 th place among foreign trade partners of Vietnam .

He called on the RoK to boost investment in Vietnam as it is currently the third largest foreign investor in the country.

He proposed the RoK maintain and increase official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam and the two sides speed up three cooperative fields that were agreed by their State leaders – nuclear power, building hi-tech zones and human resource training.

The PM suggested that Can Tho, the centre of the Mekong delta region, was an ideal location for construction of a hi-tech zone and an RoK university in Vietnam , citing the city’s favourable geographical conditions and a plentiful young labour force.

Ambassador Ha said that the RoK and Vietnam has shared a fine strategic partnership and his government was sure to maintain and might increase ODA for Vietnam .

He also provided an update on the RoK’s preparations for the 20 th anniversary of the founding of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Ambassador Ha conveyed the RoK Prime Minister’s invitation to PM Dung to attend a conference on nuclear security, slated for March 2012 in the RoK./.