Vietnamese Ambassador to Korea Nguyen Vu Tung addresses CEOs and guests at the second edition of the Global Biz Forum at the Ambassador Hotel in Seoul, May 25.(Jenny Sung)
“Vietnam will continue to strengthen ties with Korean companies and solidify its position as a responsible and important hub in regional and global value chains,” said Tung, stressing that Vietnam will implement solutions such as system and administrative enhancements to improve the business investment environment.
He noted that cooperation, trust and 30 years of friendly Vietnam-Korea relations are the driving forces for achieving economic objectives. He said that these driving forces can also resolve challenges in value chains, exchange rates, interest rates, inflation and geopolitical risks.“Korea is Vietnam‘s third-largest economic partner after the US and China,” Tung said, adding that his country is also Korea’s third-largest economic partner in terms of investment, trade and tourism.
According to Tung, Korea’s investment in Vietnam has grown rapidly in the last 30 years. Korea is now Vietnam’s largest foreign direct investment partner, with total registered capital of $80 billion and over 10,000 investment projects.
Trade volume between the two countries in 2021 was $78.1 billion, and is expected to hit $90 billion in 2022. This is a very positive indicator that foreshadows a new level of bilateral economic relations, he said.
The ambassador also laid out Vietnam’s target of achieving 6 percent to 6.5 percent gross domestic product growth. It aims to attain an average GDP of $3,900 per capita.
“We aim to rapidly develop production and business activities,” Tung said.
“Green growth, a digital economy, infrastructure development, industrialization and finance would be the driving force for Vietnam’s economy in the future,” said Tung.
“It’s an opportunity for Korean companies to expand investment and business cooperation in Vietnam in the medium to long term,” he said.
“We are creating conditions in Vietnam for Korean groups and companies to make long-term investments in priority areas based on their governance capabilities and strengths in markets, capital and technology,” Tung said.
Tung listed a stable macroeconomy – with controlled inflation and 2.58 percent GDP growth — the highest vaccination rate, progress in digital transformation and creative innovation, and FDI inflows as the four major achievements of Vietnam in a changing world amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“GDP growth for 2021 as a whole remained at 2.58 percent,” said Tung, citing Vietnam as third in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and 14th among 50 Asian countries in terms of its digital economy scale.
Vietnam was selected as one of the top 20 countries attracting maximum FDI in the world for the first time by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Tung noted.
Discussing emerging opportunities in Vietnam’s energy sector, Tung said Vietnam is promoting the development of new, renewable and clean energy suitable for the country’s socio-economic development conditions and goals to fulfill the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP26, pledge.
The ambassador added that Vietnam is developing a transparent, competitive and unified energy market system with diverse business methods and ownership forms.
Vietnam’s Eighth Power Development Plan, set to be approved in second quarter of 2022, would create opportunities and foundations for Korean companies investing in sustainable, clean and green energy sectors.
According to Tung, Vietnam is focusing on developing high-tech and core technology industries for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The country is also encouraging investments for its manufacturing industry to secure production capabilities, combined with digital transformation, creative innovation and science and technology.
The ambassador introduced the three pillars of Vietnam’s National Digital Transformation Vision Programme — digital government, digital economy and digital society – approved in 2020. He said that the program is an important opportunity for Korean businesses to expand their cooperation with Vietnam.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Korea Nguyen Vu Tung introduces Vietnam’s business potential at the second edition of the Global Biz Forum at the Ambassador Hotel in Seoul, May 25. (Jenny Sung)
“New frameworks such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership will bring new trade and investment opportunities between Vietnam and Korea to advance into a wider economic space,” he said.
According to Tung, RCEP is currently the world’s largest free trade agreement, accounting for 25 percent of global trade, around 29 percent of global GDP and a market size of 2.3 billion people.
Tung said that new quarantine rules in the post-COVID-19 era would make travel, trade and tourism easier.
From May 15, Vietnam does not require PCR test results from inbound travelers, Tung said. He added that visa and quarantine rules that previously applied to travelers arriving for less than 14 days for tourism purposes have also been recently lifted.
By Sanjay Kumar ([email protected])