RoK investment an impetus for Viet Nam's growth
The Vietnam - Korea Business Forum is expected to bring economic, trade, and investment ties between the two countries to the next level, according to President Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
The president was speaking at the forum on December 6 with the participation of South Korean Deputy Prime Minister Cho Hyun Joon and more than 500 representatives of businesses.
Phuc said Viet Nam has attracted roughly US$400 billion of foreign capital over the years, positioning itself among the top 20 investment-attractive countries in the world.
Of the figure, the Republic of Korea (RoK) has contributed around $80 billion, making it the largest partner of the country in terms of foreign direct investment. On top of that, RoK is also Viet Nam's second largest trade partner with a bilateral trade of around $90 billion in 2022. The figure is expected to top $150 billion by 2030.
Given the close economic, trade, and investment ties between the two countries, the President called for more investment from RoK to boost bilateral relations. He said Viet Nam has placed its focus on infrastructure development to lay the groundwork for the investment.
He also said on the back of the new-generation free trade agreements to which Viet Nam is a member, RoK firms would be able to access ASEAN, Asia-Pacific and other markets, in addition to the 100-million-strong Vietnamese market, by the location of their factories in the country.
Cho Hyun Joon said the two countries need to strengthen their ties in supply chains to ensure economic security amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He also called for closer bilateral ties in trade to fully leverage the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which took effect in RoK by February.
"With the joint efforts of the two governments and private sectors, bilateral trade would reach $100 billion in 2023," said the Deputy PM.
The Deputy PM also said RoK is willing to share its knowledge with Viet Nam about Smart City, renewable energy, ICT and environmental infrastructure.
In a meeting with President Phuc, Chairman of Hyosung Group Cho Huyn-joon claimed that his group has invested in all three regions of the country with a total capital of $3.5 billion, creating 10,000 jobs. He said he has an optimistic outlook on green growth in Viet Nam and has planned to boost investments in green-growth-related industries in the short term.
In response, the President suggested Hyosung push ahead with its plan, saying that foreign investments into the industries are top of mind for the country.
During his meeting with Chairman and CEO of the Korea Development Bank (KDB) Kang Seog-hoo, the President spoke well of KDB’s engagement in the Vietnamese finance and banking sector.
He requested the bank assist RoK firms in doing business in Viet Nam, especially in green finance, and to help develop a green bond market in line with the national strategy on green growth between 2021 and 2030.
He also welcomed KDB’s offer to cooperate with Viet Nam's Ministry of Finance in developing a sustainable development plan for Vietnam Development Bank.
Kang, for his part, said KDB has been the driving force behind the growth of RoK's automobile, shipbuilding, chemicals and heavy industry. As such, the bank wants to share its experience with Viet Nam and support RoK firms in investing in the country, especially in green growth and clean energy.
Han Jong-Hee, vice president and general director of Samsung Electronics, said the corporation has planned to raise its capital in Viet Nam to $20 billion in the short term. For the time being, the corporation has completed the construction of a new research and development centre, which is expected to be operational soon. The centre will be a research hub for artificial intelligence and big data.
In response, the President expressed his appreciation of the plan and called for more investment in support industries and smart technologies to turn Viet Nam into an industrial powerhouse.