Vietnam-South Korea are energising their cooperation. South Korean Deputy Minister of Knowledge and Economy (MKE) Yoon Sang Jick told last week’s forum for the 20th anniversary of the South Korea-Vietnam Economic Cooperation Programme that the bilateral trade turnover would reach $20 billion this year from 2011’s $18.5 billion.
That is a giant 40-fold jump against 1992 when the two countries forged their diplomatic ties.
“The trade turnover will surely increase strongly when the two countries ink a free trade agreement. Negotiations for such a deal are now under ministerial-level discussion,” Jick said.
Vietnamhas 3,050 South Korean investment projects with total registered capital of over $24.14 billion, the Ministry of Planning and Investment reported.
“We are expecting that the number of South Korean projects in Vietnam will be about 3,200 next year. These new projects will mainly focus on some labour intensive sectors like textile and garments, footwear, and environmental friendly sectors like electricity and waste treatment,” Jick said.
Vietnamand South Korea in October, 2011 adopted the Overall Joint Proposed Plan on nuclear power project development in Vietnam (OJPP). In March, 2012, the two sides clinched a deal for further cooperation on preliminary feasibility study of a nuclear power project (NPP) in Vietnam.
Hee Yong Lee, a representative from South Korea’s KEPCO company which compiled the OJPP said under the NPP preliminary feasibility study, which would be made within 18 months from this month, a suitable reactor technology for Vietnam would be selected.
“Both governments will do their best in financing the project,” Lee said.
He said the South Korean side would supply sufficient high-quality nuclear materials, solutions to treat nuclear waste, and training programmes for the project.
Besides boosting nuclear technology cooperation with Vietnam, Jick said South Korea would help Vietnam build a technological incubator park in southern Can Tho city. A memorandum of understanding for this project’s industrial technology was clinched by the two governments in March 2012 and the project would be funded by MKE’s official development assistance.
“Construction of this park will start in March, 2013 and be completed in 2014. After being tested on a pilot basis via a programme, the park is expected to become operational in 2015,” said Byung Wook Choi from South Korean government-funded Korea Institute of Industrial Technology, which would implement this project.
He said the park’s planning and building designing would be completed this year.
Choi added that the park would fuel the Vietnamese government’s hi-tech development strategy, leading the local economy and technological development as a key hub.
“The park will support Vietnamese small- and medium-sized enterprises in technological innovation and push growth in industries, jobs, education and power resources,” he said.