By Yoon Sojung
Photos = Cheong Wa Dae Facebook
President Moon Jae-in, currently in Vietnam on a state visit, vowed to bolster bilateral ties between Seoul and Hanoi on March 23.
President Moon proposed upgrading Seoul-Hanoi ties to a “comprehensive partnership relationship” from the existing “strategic cooperation partnership relationship.”
President Moon held a summit meeting with Vietnamese President Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi earlier that day. After the meeting, the two leaders announced a “joint declaration to usher in a new 25 years of history between Korea and Vietnam.”
In the joint declaration, the two countries agreed to host summit meetings on a regular basis and to develop bilateral business cooperation. It also contains measures to deepen the friendship between the peoples of both countries.
President Moon said, “Korea and Vietnam have been developing an exemplary win-win cooperative relationship ever since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1992, and forging a ‘strategic cooperation partnership relationship.’”
He said that the volume of trade between the two countries last year expanded more than 40 percent to reach USD 64 billion. President Moon also said that the number of tourists going between the two countries jumped more than 50 percent to a record 2.7 million in 2017, saying that Vietnam has become the most popular tourist destination for Koreans holiday makers.
Dubbing Vietnam as “a core partner for Seoul’s New Southern Policy,” President Moon said, “I would like to upgrade our bilateral relationship up a further notch to become a comprehensive partnership relationship, as next year our two countries will mark the 10th anniversary of forging our strategic cooperation partnership relationship.”
Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang responded by saying that, “Under the direction of Korea’s New Southern Policy, I hope the bilateral relationship can develop further.”
In regard to cooperation between businesses, the two leaders agreed to bolster cooperation on the manufacturing industry, including parts and materials and the automobile sector, all in order to achieve the goal of reaching a trade volume of USD 100 billion by 2020.
The two countries agreed to expand Korea’s contribution to infrastructure works in Vietnam, such as road and airport construction projects, and to work together on jointly responding to the evolution of the fourth industrial revolution, and to boost development cooperation.
To deepen the friendship between the peoples of the two countries, President Moon vowed to strengthen support for multicultural families in Korea with Vietnamese spouses. He also vowed to manage hospitals and to build more schools, especially in central Vietnam.
After the summit, the two governments signed a total of six memorandums of understanding (MOUs) in six areas. They include an “Action Plan for the goal of achieving a bilateral trade volume of USD 100 billion by 2020,” and cooperation agreements cover the parts and materials industry, traffic and infrastructure, and cooperation on jointly responding to the fourth industrial revolution.