Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son (right) and his RoK counterpart Chung Eui-yong. (Photo: VNA)
The upcoming official visit to the Republic of Korea (RoK) by Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son is expected to contribute to fostering relations between Vietnam and the RoK, towards a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Vu Tung has said.
Son will pay an official visit to the RoK and attend the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)-run Southeast Asia Regional Programme (SEARP) ministerial meeting from February 9-11 at the invitation of his RoK counterpart Chung Eui-yong and OECD Secretary General Mathias Cormann.
This is the first visit to the RoK by a Vietnamese foreign minister over the past five years, and also the first by Son after his appointment to the position, the ambassador told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA), adding that the visit opens up activities marking the 30th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties (1992-2022).
Given complex developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, the visit demonstrates the resolve to maintain and boost the bilateral relationship, he noted.
According to the diplomat, Son will hold working sessions with officials of the RoK, during which they will look into the celebration of the diplomatic ties, and orientations for the relations as agreed by senior leaders of the two countries.
Priority cooperation areas would be politics-diplomacy, national defence-security, economy and social affairs, for peace, stability, collaboration and development of the two countries, Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia and other regions.
The two sides will work to consolidate the existing cooperation spheres and open up new ones, while restoring those disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Son is scheduled to meet with representatives of the Vietnamese community in the RoK, the ambassador said.
The minister will attend the OECD-run Southeast Asia Regional Programme (SEARP), to be hosted by the RoK, in his capacity as the co-chair of the programme for 2022-2025.
As coordinator for the ASEAN-RoK relations for 2020-2023, Son will also engage in discussions with Korean partners in this regard.
Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Vu Tung in an interview with Vietnam News Agency (Photo: VNA)
It can be said that the trip demonstrates Vietnam’s policy on advancing multilateral diplomacy adopted at the 13th National Party Congress, under which Vietnam is resolved to actively and positively contribute to multilateral forums and mechanisms, firstly the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The trip would bring about new cooperative opportunities and sectors between Vietnam and the RoK in efforts to promote multilateralism and strengthen multilateral cooperation mechanisms, including ASEAN and the RoK’s New Southern Policy Plus.
Tung said despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vietnam-RoK relationship has maintained its development pace, as reflected through the exchange of delegations, along with online talks and meetings.
Major cooperative areas have been maintained, he said, citing two-way trade of 70.38 billion USD as of November 2021, up 20 percent year-on-year.
Last year, the RoK was Vietnam’s second largest investor with total capital reaching 7.4 billion USD, a rise of 85 percent from 2020. The RoK continued to be Vietnam’s second biggest development assistance supplier with a commitment of 1.5 billion USD in 2016-2020.
Apart from close coordination at multilateral forums, Vietnam and the RoK have supported each other in emergencies, the ambassador noted.
The Government and people of the RoK presented more than 1.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Vietnam. Meanwhile, businesses and friendship organisations of the RoK contributed over 20 million USD to Vietnam’s COVID-19 vaccine fund.
Cooperation development has helped to boost mutual understanding and trust between the two countries, as well as their localities and people, creating a foundation for the two sides to advance their relationship.
The ambassador held that Vietnam and the RoK have yet to fully tap their cooperation potential, and the two countries, therefore, aim to raise the bilateral trade to 100 billion USD by 2023 and 150 billion USD by 2030.
Regarding the celebration of the bilateral diplomatic ties, Tung said there will be a wide range of activities on this occasion, including the exchange of visits and congratulatory messages, and cultural, art and sport activities./.