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Korea, Vietnam to pursue win-win situation through economic cooperation

Korea, Vietnam to pursue win-win situation through economic cooperation

Posted September. 10, 2013 06:29,   


Korean President Park Geun-hye and her Vietnamese counterpart Truong Tan Sang have agreed to pursue a comprehensive and high-quality free trade agreement at the summit on Monday. A joint effort in nuclear power plant development in Vietnam was included in the summit statement, providing opportunities to Korea in winning nuclear deals. In addition, the two heads of state agreed to elevate political, economic and cultural cooperation to another level for cooperation in global issues for the next two decades.

Vietnam was a socialist country with one communist party but has fast developed its economy since adopting a “Doi Moi” or renovation policy in 1986. It attracted foreign investors based on excellent human resources and low wages, and some 2,700 Korean small and medium-size companies operate in the country. The Korean government is focusing on winning a 10 billion-dollar nuclear plant deal and a 5.9 billion-dollar thermal power plant and underground oil storage facilities. Both the government and the private sector needs to do their best to get a good result in the bidding in 2015 following the previous Lee Myung-bak administration’s nuclear projects.

Vietnam is in the center of emerging VIP nations (Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines). It has much lower per capita income of 1,350 dollars but has large population and huge growth potential. Korea should strengthen the perception that it is not an investor but an equal partner in cooperating with Vietnam in global issues. President Park participated in the “Hanbok-Ao Dai fashion show” in person on Sunday and paid tribute to the mausoleum of Vietnam’s respected Ho Chi Minh on Monday to win the hearts and minds of Vietnamese people.

Korea joined the Vietnam War in the 1960s. Former President Park Chung-hee, President Park’s father, sent 320,000 soldiers for a decade to fight against the current Vietnamese government. Now, Korea and Vietnam have “extended family” relationships as some 50,000 Koreans and Vietnamese are married. The two countries are opening a new chapter of reconciliation, cooperation and coexistence to meet the needs of the time, putting the sad past behind.

Both leaders expressed concerns over North Korea’s nuclear tests and urged North Korea to become a responsible member of the international community by faithfully implementing its international obligations and pledges including the U.N. Security Council resolutions and the September 19 Joint Statement (which stated North Korea’s abandonment of nuclear weapons in the six-party talks in 2005). North Korea marked 65th anniversary of its foundation September 9. Hopefully, North Korea could take Vietnam as an example and move towards openness and reform.