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Korea, Vietnam agree to finalize free trade deal next year

Korea, Vietnam agree to finalize free trade deal next year

Posted September. 10, 2013 05:46,   


Leaders of Korea and Vietnam agreed on Monday to conclude a comprehensive, high-quality free trade agreement next year.

Paying a state visit to Vietnam, President Park Geun-hye held a summit meeting with Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang in Hanoi, Vietnam on the day, and announced a "joint statement of leaders for co-prosperity."

The two leaders agreed on the goal of achieving 70 billion U.S. dollars in bilateral trade by 2020. Compared with last year when the bilateral trade hit 20 billion dollars, the two leaders aim to triple trade between their countries. To achieve this goal, they agreed to advance the timeline to conclude the free trade pact to next year. Though the two countries started negotiations on a free trade agreement in 2012, a deadline to finalize the deal hadn`t been fixed. In the wake of President Park’s strong request, the timing for conclusion of the trade talks has been decided.

Korea has also taken a step closer to winning three major construction projects in Vietnam, something Park has been striving for. “The two sides have sympathized with recognition that sharing Korea’s experience in nuclear power plant construction and related technology will contribute to Vietnam’s development of the nuclear energy industry,” the two leaders said in their joint statement. “We have agreed to continue efforts to develop nuclear power plants in Vietnam.”

The two leaders agreed that they would support Korean companies’ participation in a project to construct an oil storage terminal in the Dung Quat region and in the construction of a thermal power plant in southern Vietnam, thus effectively confirming Korean firms` participation in the projects. Daelim Industrial and Korea East-West Power Co. submitted proposal for investment in the construction of a coal-powered thermal power plant worth 3.6 billion dollars in Long Phu district, while Korea National Oil Corp. and Vietnam National Oil & Gas Group are negotiating over the construction of a 150 million-dollar oil storage terminal in Dung Quat.

Korea agreed to provide proactive support to help Vietnam develop into a modern industrialized country by 2020, including ample assistance for the “Vietnam Happiness Program” modeled after Saemaeul (New Community) Movement of Korea and the establishment V-KIST after the Korea Institute of Science and Technology. Sharing the view that North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons poses threat to peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula, East Asia and the world, Vietnam also expressed its intention to support Seoul’s Korean Peninsula trust-building process, and vision for peace and cooperation in Northeast Asia.