1. Mr. Lee Seong-ho, Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Tran Quoc Phuong, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Planning and Investment of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, held the 18th Korea-Viet Nam Joint Economic Committee Meeting in a virtual format on the afternoon of November 17. In the meeting, the two sides recognized the progress and achievements in all areas of economic cooperation between the Republic of Korea and Viet Nam in the past year, including trade, investment, development, infrastructure, and finance, and discussed ways to further increase and strengthen cooperation.
o In addition, the two sides exchanged in-depth views on ways to step up cooperation in other areas, including employment and labor cooperation; ICT and science and technology; health and medical care; maritime affairs and fisheries; and consular affairs.
2. The two sides noted with appreciation that both countries have managed the COVID-19 situation in a transparent, thorough, and stable manner, and even amid the pandemic, they have been demonstrating various exemplary cases of cooperation together, including close communication at each level, exemptions to the entry ban for essential travelers including business people, and mutual assistance in equipment for disease prevention and control between the governments and private sectors of the two countries.
o In particular, the ROK side explained that in addition to overcoming the COVID-19 crisis, the government is pursuing the Digital New Deal and the Green New Deal to prepare for the post-COVID-19 era. The Vietnamese side expressed its commitment to overcoming COVID-19 through continued economic cooperation with the ROK.
o The two sides also positively noted that a number of Korean nationals have been granted exemptions to enter Viet Nam, and agreed to swiftly complete the ongoing negotiations on special entry procedure for essential travelers including business people.
3. The two sides reviewed the progress in follow-up measures to the ROK-Viet Nam Summit in November 2019 and the phone conversation between the leaders of the two countries in April 2020, as well as in major cooperation projects. They also discussed ways to achieve post-COVID-19 economic recovery and advance economic cooperative relations between the two countries, including expanding bilateral trade and investment and boosting industrial cooperation in such areas as infrastructure, finance, and ICT.
o The two sides took note that bilateral trade and investment is recently recovering, and agreed to continue to work together to achieve annual bilateral trade volume of US$100 billion as early as possible.
o In an effort to help more Korean companies operate and invest in Viet Nam, the ROK side asked for active cooperation from Viet Nam, including supporting Korean companies’ participation in infrastructure projects in the areas of smart city, energy, port, and transportation; cooperating in collecting accounts receivable of investment and development projects as well as approving the projects; supporting Korean financial institutions to make way into Viet Nam; and designating the ROK as a reference country in the bidding process for medical devices for public health institutions.
o As part of its efforts to resolve bilateral trade imbalance, the Vietnamese side asked the ROK to support Vietnamese companies’ participation in global value chains, including expanding imports of Vietnamese agricultural products and strengthening agricultural competitiveness, as well as enhancing Viet Nam’s manufacturing competitiveness. The Vietnamese side also hoped to continue cooperation in employment and labor.
4. The two sides took note that Viet Nam is the ROK’s key cooperation partner for official development assistance (ODA) and the ROK’s grants and Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) have successfully contributed to Viet Nam’s economic and social development, and agreed to work together to continue development cooperation in a range of areas.
5. Furthermore, the two sides had a broad exchange of views on the economic situations of the two countries before and after the pandemic as well as prospects for the global trade and investment environment, and welcomed the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) (Nov. 15), noting that it has advanced regional trade liberalization and further expanded the foundation for economic cooperation.
6. The 18th Joint Economic Committee Meeting, which was held in follow-up to the ROK-Viet Nam Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in September and the meeting between the National Assembly speakers of the two countries in November, served as a useful opportunity to further strengthen economic cooperation with Viet Nam, the ROK’s major trading partner and key cooperation partner for the New Southern Policy, and to actively seek to resolve difficulties faced by Korean companies in Viet Nam amid the pandemic, while maintaining the momentum for developing bilateral relations.
two sides agreed to hold the 19th Joint Economic Committee Meeting
at an appropriate time next year.