Vietnam is seeking better trade and economic relations with South Korea and Italy.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (right) and his wife received by President Lee Myung-bak and his spouse at the G20 Summit formal reception in Seoul. Photo Duc Tam
Trade between Vietnam and South Korea, one of its biggest economic partners, was set to reach $20 billion in 2015, about double the current figure, said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in a meeting with his Korean counterpart Kim Hwang-sik in Seoul yesterday.
Two-way trade is expected to reach $11 billion this year, a 16 per cent increase against last year.
More efforts from the Korean government, however, were expected to improve the current bilateral trade imbalance. In the first five months of this year, two-way trade reached $5.6 billion, but only about one-fifth of that number, or $1.1 billion, was earned by Vietnamese exporters.
Dung asked the Korean government to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese exporters to enter the Korean market.
In a round table discussion on bilateral trade also held yesterday on the sidelines of the G20 summit, Dung called for more investment in Vietnam by South Korean enterprises.
Korean businesses were particularly welcome in the fields of infrastructure development, production of new energy, material and high-tech products, subordinate industries, human resources development, health care, agriculture, forestry and aquaculture, he said.
"The Vietnamese government will create favourable conditions for foreign enterprises, including Korean ones, to run long-term and successful business in Vietnam, which will benefit both sides," said Dung.
Korean Vice Minister of Knowledge Economy Park Young Jun said bilateral trade and economic co-operation, which was already good, should be enhanced even further.
The Korean PM also committed to providing more official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam while confirming Vietnam as a key focus of Korean ODA policy.
During Dung's official visit, co-operation agreements were signed yesterday between Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (Petrovietnam) and its Korean partners. They include the construction of Thai Binh 2 coal power plant, Vung Tau gas power plant, and South Con Son 2 gas pipe project.
Discussion between the two heads of government also focused on methods to bring the bilateral strategic partnership to a higher level, co-operation in international and regional forums, and the Korean Government's support for Vietnamese brides in Korea.
Trade ties with Italy
Vietnam also wanted to boost trade, economic and investment relations with Italy, Dung said in another meeting with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Vietmam prioritised comprehensive co-operation with Italy and appreciated the effectiveness of Italian investment projects in the country, he said.
Dung said he hoped the European country would continue its ODA for Vietnam, particularly in environmental and health care projects, and support for small-and-medium-sized enterprises.
Berlusconi said an increasing number of Italian enterprises wanted to invest and run business in Vietnam.
He said his country also hoped to boost co-operation with Vietnam in education and training, culture, and science and technology.
G20 and MDGs
Prime Minister Dung also attended the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) forum in Seoul yesterday on the sidelines of the G20 Summit.
The UN and member countries, especially G20 countries, should make a greater effort to maintain the stability of the economic environment, prevent economic crises, and achieve the MDGs, he said at the event also attended by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Dung joined informal working sessions with other heads of delegations to the summit where issues of global economy, and balanced and sustainable growth were discussed in preparation for today's formal meeting.