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PM urges major South Korean conglomerates to explore new horizon of cooperation
Ngoc Mai 15:33, 2024/07/01
The Government leader called on South Korean corporations to support Vietnam with financial resources, infrastructure development, institutional and policy improvements, quality human resource training, and smart governance.

Leading South Korean conglomerates should further expand their investments and explore new horizons of cooperation with Vietnam, adopting a global, comprehensive, and inclusive approach.

 Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and delegates at the meeting. Photos: Nhat Bac

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh made the remarks during a roundtable discussion with executives from nearly 20 leading South Korean conglomerates in Seoul today [July 1].

Former South Korean Prime Minister Han Seung-soo, a senior advisor at the law firm Kim & Chang, stated that South Korean companies are expanding their investments across various sectors in Vietnam.

This growth is attributed to the Vietnamese Government's consistent support for South Korean enterprises, he noted. The strong trade and investment relationship between the two countries is built on solid political and diplomatic ties, active exchanges, and close people-to-people ties, Han added.

Jung Yeoin, Chairman of Doosan Enerbility, mentioned that the group has been operating in Vietnam since 2006 and focuses on investing in various projects in the country. The company aims to participate in wind and gas power projects in Vietnam and supply equipment like turbines for power plants. "Power generation is a significant area of cooperation between the two countries. We are keen to transfer technology and collaborate with Vietnam in training experts," said Jung Yeoin.

Lee Kye-in, Chairman of POSCO International, highlighted that the company has produced over 2.3 million tons of steel in Vietnam, generating annual revenues of $1.5-2 billion. Since 2015, POSCO has been involved in the Mong Duong 1 power project and is looking forward to contributing to the Quynh Lap project in Nghe An, aiming to support local development.

Jung In Sup, CEO of Hanwha Aerospace, wanted to provide aircraft engine repair and maintenance services in Vietnam. He noted that while Vietnam has several major airlines, they currently need to send their aircraft abroad, to countries like the US and Singapore, for maintenance. Hanwha Aerospace hopes to provide these services in Vietnam in the future.

Kim Hyung Kwan, Chairman and CEO of HD Hyundai Mipo, stated that the company is investing massively in Vietnam to jointly develop the shipbuilding industry. Their vision is to produce ships using new, green, and environmentally friendly technologies to contribute to the sustainable development of Vietnam's shipbuilding sector.

Addressing investment issues, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung praised the contributions of South Korean businesses to Vietnam's development. He encouraged these corporations to expand cooperation in three identified areas: high-tech, high-value-added industries; digital infrastructure; and green transformation in line with the green growth strategy, particularly in transportation and energy.

Dung reiterated the Vietnamese Government's commitment to supporting and resolving any obstacles faced by South Korean businesses.

Speaking on energy, Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien emphasized Vietnam's significant energy needs and the country's efforts to attract investment in this sector.

According to Dien, to ensure energy security, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has outlined six measures, including improving the regulatory framework, implementing direct power purchase agreements, strengthening rooftop solar policies, and adjusting electricity prices according to market mechanisms.

Vietnam also encourages investment in new energy and invites South Korean businesses to invest in line with Vietnam's development direction, Dien said.

At the discussion, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh further clarified that Vietnam is diversifying its energy sources. Electricity demand has increased by 15% in the first months of the year and is expected to continue rising, but the Prime Minister assured that there would be no power shortages. He welcomed the proposal for aircraft engine maintenance services, noting Vietnam's fast-growing airlines like Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet Air, and encouraged collaboration with these airlines.

The Prime Minister also highlighted the significant demand for shipbuilding cooperation due to Vietnam's developing maritime economy and shipbuilding industry. Particularly, the Mekong Delta region, with its extensive waterways, has a great need for shipbuilding. He welcomed collaboration in this field.

Concluding the dialogue, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh emphasized that the relationship between the two countries is currently at its best across all sectors, characterized by dynamic and substantive development.

Many bilateral economic cooperation opportunities are emerging. South Korea is currently the largest investor in Vietnam, with cumulative capital reaching $87 billion and nearly 10,000 projects; the second-largest partner in development cooperation and tourism; and the third-largest partner in labor and trade, with bilateral trade reaching $76 billion in 2023. Both countries aim to increase bilateral trade to $100 billion soon and $150 billion by 2030. People-to-people exchanges are also thriving, with approximately 280,000 Vietnamese in South Korea and about 200,000 South Koreans in Vietnam, including over 80,000 multicultural families.

 Overview of the meeting. 

Strengthening cooperation in new fields

Despite these positive developments, the cooperation between the two countries faces challenges due to global and regional dynamics. Therefore, the Prime Minister emphasized the need to seek appropriate solutions to leverage strengths, exploit opportunities, and address difficulties to further enhance trade and investment relations to the level of a comprehensive strategic partnership and meet the aspirations of both peoples.

Amidst complex global and regional developments, Vietnam has achieved significant results across all sectors, with increased national strength and improved living standards. The country's political and social stability, active foreign relations, and participation in 16 free trade agreements with over 60 leading global economies reflect its dynamic engagement. In the first half of 2024, Vietnam's GDP grew by 6.42%, with nearly 7% growth in the second quarter, positioning it as a standout performer. The macroeconomic stability, controlled inflation, and balanced major economic factors, including controlled public, government, and external debt and budget deficit, were noted.

He called for enhanced cooperation in traditional sectors and the development of digital, green, circular, sharing, and knowledge economies, as well as emerging fields like artificial intelligence and the fourth industrial revolution. He also urged South Korean corporations to support Vietnam with financial resources, infrastructure development, institutional and policy improvements, high-quality human resource training, and smart governance.

Furthermore, the Prime Minister encouraged South Korean investors to actively participate in social welfare, support people in difficult situations, and help Vietnamese businesses join the value chains of South Korean and global companies.

He affirmed the Vietnamese government's commitment to always listen, support, and create favorable conditions for foreign investors, especially South Korean investors, to conduct business smoothly, efficiently, and sustainably in Vietnam.

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