Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, his wife and the Vietnamese Governmental delegation left Hanoi on May 28 to pay an official visit to the Republic of Korea and attend a summit to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the ASEAN-RoK relationship.
|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at the welcome ceremony at the military airport of Seoul in Korea on May 28 (Photo:VNA)|
The Prime Minister was accompanied by the Minister and Head of the Office of the Government Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the Minister of Planning and Investment Vo Hong Phuc, the Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang, the Head of the Hanoi city People’s Committee Nguyen The Thao, and representatives from other ministries and agencies.
Increasing ASEAN-RoK dialogue and cooperation relations
The ASEAN – RoK relation was established in 1989 with a focused dialogue based on certain areas, in 1991 however, the dialogue was expanded to become what it is now a full dialogue. In 2004, the two sides signed a joint communiqué on comprehensive cooperation. So far the ASEAN – RoK dialogue relation has been developed in many fields, with focus on traffic, tourism, agricultural, science and technology, the environment, health, human resources, culture and people exchange sectors. The RoK has become an important ASEAN economic partner, with two-way trade turnover in 2008 reaching US$ 90.2 billion.
Under the theme “Partnership for Real, Friendship for Good”, the summit will focus on reviewing the orientation of the ASEAN-RoK dialogue relationship, in order to further promote the relationship as well as discuss regional and international issues, including solutions to deal with the influence of the global financial and economic crisis, ensuring food and energy safety, environmental and climate change issues, and the prevention of epidemics.
Vietnam – RoK cooperation for mutual development
Vietnam and the RoK established their diplomatic relationship on 22 December 1992. The Vietnamese Prime Minister’s official visit takes place as the two countries are increasing comprehensive cooperation for the interest of each country, for peace, stability and development in the region and in the world.
The two countries established the inter-governmental committee for economic cooperation with regular meetings to push up bilateral economic cooperation. Vietnam and the RoK have signed many important agreements in the political, security, economic, technical, cultural, social, educational and transportation sectors.
The RoK is now one of the most important economic partners of Vietnam, and the fourth largest partner of Vietnam with two-way trade turnover in 2008 reaching nearly US$ 10 billion for the first time. In early August 2008, the RoK signed a framework deal with Vietnam to provide US$ 1 billion in preferential loans from the Korean Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) for Vietnam during 2008-2011. This deal made the RoK the second largest bilateral sponsor in Vietnam, and the third largest labour export of Vietnam, with some 54,000 Vietnamese labourers now working in the RoK.
In terms of the tourism sector, the RoK is one of the markets that provide a large amount of visitors for Vietnam, with 450,000 Korean visitors to Vietnam in 2008. In addition, the Korean Government and educational foundations have assisted in many projects to increase Vietnamese educational infrastructure as well as provided scholarships for Vietnamese students. Many friendship unions have also been set up to increase the unity between the two peoples.