Update: 16:45 | 06/12/2022
Vietnam and South Korea have elevated their bilateral relationship to that of a comprehensive strategic partnership, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Monday.
"With an eye on a bright future, we've decided to upgrade our relationship to that of a comprehensive strategic partnership," Phuc said at a press conference in Seoul after talks with his South Korean counterpart Yoon Suk-yeol.
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) shakes hands with his South Korean counterpart Yoon Suk-yeol during a press conference in Seoul, South Korea, on December 5, 2022.
Reviewing 30 years of diplomatic relations, the two leaders agreed that Vietnam-South Korea collaboration has rapidly achieved broad and meaningful growth milestones.
Since establishing strategic partnership relations in 2012, both countries have emerged as each other's important partners.
Yoon said Phuc was South Korea’s "first state guest" since he took office.
Trade and investment cooperation between the two nations has grown tremendously over the last 30 years and the people of both have become "brothers and close neighbors," he said.
Elevating Vietnam-South Korea relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership will usher in a new chapter in bilateral cooperation, he added.
At the press conference, the two leaders reaffirmed the goal of increasing two-way trade turnover to US$100 billion by 2023 and $150 billion by 2030.
Phuc said Vietnam encourages South Korean businesses to keep strengthening technology transfer, and investing in electronics, infrastructure development and building of tech incentive complexes, green industrial parks, smart cities and others.
The two countries agreed to work together to help Vietnamese workers in South Korea and South Korean workers in Vietnam live safe, stable lives, abiding by the laws of both countries.
Both leaders affirmed the importance of ensuring security, safety, freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea, known internationally as South China Sea, in accordance with international law, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982).
The two leaders also agreed to work towards the goal of denuclearizing the South Korean peninsula in line with UN Security Council resolutions. This would facilitate peace, stability and growth to the region and the rest of the world, they said.
During his three-day visit to South Korea from December 4-6, Phuc met with many leading South Korean corporations investing in Vietnam, including CJ, Lotte, LG, Daewoo E&C, Hyundai Motor and others.
He affirmed that Vietnam was committed to creating the best investment environment and infrastructure for investors doing business in the country.
Vietnam and South Korea established diplomatic relations in 1992 and upgraded the relationship to a strategic cooperative partnership in 2009.
South Korea is one of Vietnam's most important partners, ranking first in investments, second in ODA, behind Japan, and third in trade, behind China and the U.S.
South Korea is also Vietnam's second largest labor export market after Taiwan, with around 48,000 Vietnamese working in the country.
There are around 216,000 Vietnamese residents in South Korea, according to the South Korean immigration service.