Vietnamese State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc will start a three-day visit to South Korea on Sunday, during which he will attend the Vietnam-South Korea Business Forum, which will gather a large number of business delegates from both countries.
Phuc, his spouse, and an entourage will visit the Eastern Asian country from December 4 to 6, at the invitation of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeo, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Thursday.
The visit will mark Phuc’s first to South Korea as a state president and also the first by a Vietnamese state head to this nation after 11 years, according to the foreign ministry.
For South Korea, Phuc is the highest-ranking Vietnamese leader that the country will welcome after Yoon took office in May.
During his stay in South Korea, President Phuc will hold talks with his counterpart Yoon, and meet Prime Minister Han Duck Soo as well as National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin Pyo.
The Vietnamese leader will also attend and address the Vietnam - South Korea Business Forum, organized by five major Korean economic organizations on December 6, with the participation of hundreds of business representatives from each side.
According to South Korean media, the country’s businesses are looking forward to the event, which will discuss steps to boost bilateral economic cooperation, including the investment expansion by South Korean investors in Vietnam.
Companies of both nations are expected to sign a lot of memoranda of understanding on business cooperation at the forum.
Lee Jay Yong, chairman of South Korean giant Samsung Electronics, is also arranging a schedule to meet with President Phuc on this occasion, according to Korean Broadcasting System (KBS).
|This image shows Nguyen Xuan Phuc attending the Vietnam-South Korean Business Forum held in South Korea in 2019, when he visited the country as Vietnam’s prime minister. Photo: Communist Party of Vietnam|
Phuc’s visit comes as both countries are celebrating 30 years of diplomatic relations, and aiming to upgrade their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership from the current strategic partnership that has developed smoothly, substantively, and effectively since 2009.
President Phuc was one of the first foreign leaders to call and congratulate Yoon on his winning the presidential election in March.
After President Yoon took power, Vietnam’s Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh had phone talks with him in June and July, respectively.
Three months later, South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin visited Vietnam at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son.
On the sidelines of the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits and related meetings in Cambodia in mid-November, PM Chinh met with President Yoon.
South Korea currently takes the number-one position in terms of foreign direct investment in Vietnam, with over US$80 billion as of September 2022, and ranks second out of the countries offering official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam, with $2.7 billion in the 2012-20 period.
In terms of trade, South Korea ranks third among Vietnam’s partners, with bilateral trade increasing in recent years despite the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, aiming for a target of $100 billion in 2023 and $150 billion by 2030.
Currently, about 216,000 Vietnamese are living in South Korea, according to the Korea Immigration Service.