HANOI, (PNA/VNS) — The President of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Park Geun Hye arrived in Hanoi late on Saturday to begin her five-day State visit to the country at the invitation of her Vietnamese counterpart Truong Tan Sang.
The RoK plans to forge a closer relationship with Vietnam in the near future, raising bilateral ties to their highest level since diplomatic links were first established in 1992, President Park declared in a recent interview with the Vietnam News Agency.
Over the past two decades, the two countries had seen bilateral trade grow by 44 times, investment rise 250 times and human resources exchange 80 times, the President continued, adding that Vietnam was the RoK’s largest ODA recipient.
There are about 500,000 Vietnamese guest workers in the RoK and 50,000 Vietnamese-RoK families are living in the country.
Regarding the future prospects for relations, she said she hoped that the two sides would deepen their strategic co-operative partnership established in 2009 for common prosperity in the next 20 years.
The RoK government would expand the scope of strategic cooperation and mutual benefit between the two countries in new fields, such as the environment and climate change, energy security, information and communications and biotechnology, to develop their partnership in a sustainable manner, she added.
“I hope that our two countries will develop a close partnership to deal with issues facing Asia’s peace and prosperity and the international community,” she said, expressing her expectation that the two sides would strengthen co-operation in the international arena.
According to the President, she chose Vietnam to be the first leg of her tour of ASEAN as her country has always had good relations with Vietnam and was determined to further develop these ties.
“It is time we prepared for the next 20 years and promoted our economic ties intensively and extensively,” she said.
The President said a policy framework was needed, and expressed her hope that during upcoming talks with President Sang, the two sides would discuss measures to lift their economic relationship to new heights for mutual benefit.
She noted that co-operative activities in science and technology had been busy since the two partners signed a co-operation agreement in the field in 1995.
The establishment of the Vietnam-RoK Center for Biological Material Research in Hanoi in June this year proved that science-technology still held a lot of potential for future co-operation, she said.
The RoK leader also revealed that the two sides were on the verge of signing an MOU on the establishment of the Vietnam-Korea Institute of Science and Technology (V-KIST) to aid Vietnam’s sci-tech development.
The Vietnamese government was making great efforts to develop Information Communication Technology (ICT), and the RoK hoped to help in this field as an area in which it had considerable expertise, the President said.