RoK Parliament Speaker Hails Ho Chi Minh City’s Contribution to Bilateral Ties

Speaker of the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s National Assembly (NA) Kim Jin-pyo, his spouse, and a high-ranking delegation of the country’s parliament arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on January 12 evening, starting an official visit to Vietnam.

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Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Phan Van Mai (R) and visiting Speaker of the Republic of Korea's National Assembly Kim Jin-pyo. Photo: VNA
Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Phan Van Mai (R) and visiting Speaker of the Republic of Korea’s National Assembly Kim Jin-pyo. Photo: VNA

Visiting Speaker of the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s National Assembly (NA) Kim Jin-pyo has remarked that Ho Chi Minh City, which houses a large number of Korean businesses and people, has made active contributions to the sound development of the nations’ relations, VNA reported.

Hosted by Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Phan Van Mai on January 13, Kim thanked the southern metropolis for its support of the RoK community living and working there.

He proposed the local authorities further create favourable conditions for the expansion of the Korean International School in the city; facilitate Korean firms to fulfill their tax obligations; and support the RoK’s bid to host the World Expo 2030 in Busan.

Agreeing with such proposals, Mai hoped the RoK legislative leader and parliamentarians will help the city cultivate its cooperation with the East Asian nation in a host of sectors such as investment, tourism, culture, sport, people-to-people exchange, digital transformation, urban management, and climate change response.

HCM City authorities always attach importance to removing obstacles and difficulties facing Korean enterprises and communities in the city, the leader stated, adding that the city is ready to participate in the World Expo 2030.

Kim recommended that the southern economic hub learn from and cooperate with Busan in digital transformation, smart city building and urban management, among others.

Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Phan Van Mai (R) and visiting Speaker of the Republic of Korea's National Assembly Kim Jin-pyo. Photo: VNA
Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Phan Van Mai (R) and visiting Speaker of the Republic of Korea’s National Assembly Kim Jin-pyo. Photo: VNA

While in the city – the first destination in his ongoing official trip to Vietnam, the speaker and his entourage are scheduled to visit a number of Korean-invested enterprises. The RoK is currently the fourth biggest foreign investor of HCM City.

Speaker Kim Jin-pyo is paying an official visit to Vietnam from January 12-18 at the invitation of Chairman of the Vietnamese NA Vuong Dinh Hue.

This is the first of such visit to Vietnam by Kim since he took office in July 2022 and also the first by a senior leader of the RoK since the two countries upgraded their relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership in December 2022.

Participants of the meeting pose for a group photo. Photo: VNA
Participants of the meeting pose for a group photo. Photo: VNA

Vietnam and the RoK officially established diplomatic ties on December 22, 1992. The relations have developed strongly and practically on the basis of political trust, cultural similarity, and geographical proximity.

The two sides have maintained good relations in all channels of the Party, the National Assembly, and the Government, with high-level exchanges held regularly in flexible forms.

The two sides issued a declaration to upgrade their relations to a “Comprehensive strategic partnership” on the occasion of the State visit to the RoK by President Nguyen Xuan Phuc in December last year.

Senior leaders of the RoK always affirm that the RoK considers Vietnam a key partner in implementing its foreign policy in Southeast Asia, and its Indo-Pacific strategy.

With this political perception, Vietnam and the RoK have become leading partners in many areas, in which their economic, trade and investment cooperation is both a pillar and also a motivation for pushing up the relations between the two countries.

The RoK ranks first in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam; second in ODA cooperation, labour and tourism, and third in trade cooperation.

Meanwhile, Vietnam is the biggest economic partner of the RoK in ASEAN, accounting for 30% of investment and 50% of total trade turnover between the RoK and the bloc.

Leaders of both nations agreed to promote stable growth of bilateral trade turnover in the direction of balance, maintaining their position as leading trading partners, towards lifting the two-way trade to USD 100 billion by 2023, and USD 150 billion by 2030.

People-to-people exchanges have been constantly developing, serving as a solid bridge to foster the Vietnam-RoK relationship.

Particularly, amid difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the bilateral cooperation has still developed fruitfully.

The RoK was one of the first countries to donate vaccines and medical equipment to help Vietnam. Meanwhile, Vietnam has created the most favourable conditions for Korean enterprises’ production and business activities in the country.

The relationship between the two countries’ legislative bodies has been actively consolidated and developed in the spirit of the Cooperation Agreement signed in 2013, significantly contributing to strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries.

The two sides have regularly maintained meetings; online talks; and exchange of delegations of the National Assemblies, and friendship parliamentary groups.

Notably, the official visit to the RoK by Vietnamese NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue in December 2021 contributed to further deepening the Vietnam – RoK relations across many fields, especially promoting post-pandemic economic recovery and development in both countries.

With a solid foundation and high hopes for bilateral relations, including parliamentary ties, Speaker Kim’s visit is expected to continue promoting cooperation between the two legislative bodies in an increasingly effective and substantive manner, thereby greatly contributing to the Vietnam – RoK relations.

Hannah Nguyen