Although trading and investment activities between Vietnam and South Korea have been significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, trade ministers of the two countries have agreed on a series of measures to ensure the US$100-billion trade turnover target for this year.
|Vietnam's Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh. Source: Cong Thuong Newspaper.
The package of measures aims to address concerns of the business community and boost trade – economic relations between the two countries, said the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) in a statement after an online meeting between Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and his South Korean counterpart Sung Yun-mo on April 13.
Before the meeting, the two ministers signed an agreement to set up an electronic exchange system of Certificate of Origin (C/O) under the Vietnam – Korea Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA). Once completed, traders from the two countries are not required to present C/O in paper form to enjoy preferential treatment, which could help save costs and time for all parties involved.
Minister Tran Tuan Anh expected more South Korean businesses to invest in the fields of footwear, garment, electronics, and agriculture, especially as the EU - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU – Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) are set to become effective on July 1, 2020.
Anh said Vietnam is perfecting legal frameworks and investment policies in the fields of infrastructure, electricity and renewable energy.
|South Korea’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Sung Yun-mo. Source: Cong Thuong Newspaper.
While South Korean Trade Minister Sung said the Covid-19 pandemic has once again affirmed the importance of ensuring diversified supply chains and avoiding the reliance on a single partner, Anh proposed Vietnam could become a key part in the supply chains of South Korean companies in the fields of automobile, electronics and garment, a step to secure production stability and sustainability for mutual benefits.
As the significance of food security grows during the time of crisis, there are opportunities for cooperation between the two business communities in supplying agricultural products, fresh fruits and vegetables.
Anh suggested his South Korean counterpart speed up the approval process for the import of Vietnam’s dragon fruit and grapefruit; help to take Vietnamese products to the South Korean market directly via major distributors such as Lotte Mart, E-Mart, Home Plus, and CJ Home Shopping.
Minister Sung agreed to advise the Korea Trade Commission against an anti-dumping probe on Vietnamese plywood at a time when both countries are struggling to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
Anh said the adoption of anti-dumping measures would affect hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese workers and cause further trade imbalances as it could impact Vietnam’s exports to South Korea.
Sung expressed thanks to Vietnam government agencies in supporting South Korean firms and citizens in doing business in the country, particularly in the flexible application of quarantine measures for South Korean experts upon entering Vietnam during the pandemic period.