Vietnam's Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh meets with Prime Minister Han Duck-soo

First official visit by a top Vietnamese leader since 2022

By Diplomacy Journal Lee Kap-soo


At the invitation of Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh paid an official visit to Korea from June 30 to July 3. 


Prime Minister Han Duck-soo held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Chinh at the Seoul Government Complex on July 2, and hosted a welcome dinner the same evening. 



PM Chinh's visit is the first official visit by a top Vietnamese leader to South Korea since the two countries upgraded their relations to a "comprehensive strategic partnership" on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties in December 2022, and is expected to serve as an opportunity to further deepen reciprocal, practical and strategic cooperation in all fields between the two countries.

On the occasion of the visit of Vietnamese Prime Minister, the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) organized the 'Korea-Vietnam Business Forum' at Lotte Hotel in Jung-gu, Seoul, on July 1. Korean and Vietnamese business and political leaders gathered together and pledged to expand investment and trade in areas such as digital transformation and supply chain cooperation.


Ahn Duk-geun, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, and Choi Young-sam, Korean Ambassador to Vietnam, represented the Korean government, while Cho Hyun-sang, Vice Chairman of HS Hyosung and also the Chairman of the Korea-Vietnam Economic Cooperation Council, hosted the forum on behalf of the business community.



In addition, Choi Chang-won, Chairman of the SK Supex Pursuit Council, Cho Hyun-joon, Chairman of Hyosung Group, Lee Hee-beom, Chairman of Bouyoung Group, Park Seung-hee, President of Samsung Electronics, and Lee Kye-in, President of POSCO International, attended the forum.


"Korea and Vietnam have become very important economic partners for each other," said Cho Hyun-sang, Chairman of the Korea Economic Cooperation Council, in his opening remarks. "Especially as the bilateral relationship has been upgraded to a comprehensive and strategic partnership, our friendship is stronger than ever, and the depth and breadth of exchanges are growing."


"Today's global economic environment is in the midst of a wave of change, and Vietnam and South Korea are strategic partners who must tackle the challenges together, and the solutions we find together will be the engine of our future growth," he said.


"This year marks the 32nd anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and it is time for us to prepare for the next 30 years," said Minister Ahn Duk-geun in his welcoming remarks. "We need to further expand trade and investment to achieve the goal of $150 billion in bilateral trade by 2030.


"To this end, it is very meaningful that we have set a new target of reaching $100 billion in bilateral trade by next year, the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Korea-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (FTA), on the occasion of Prime Minister Chinh's visit."


"Given the economic and industrial capabilities and potential of both countries, we look forward to expanding trade and investment to include not only intermediate goods, but also consumer goods and cultural content, as well as cooperation on large-scale projects such as energy infrastructure construction," Ahn said.


"We are also working together to establish the Korea-Vietnam Key Minerals Supply Chain Center, which is expected to open next year, and we hope to build a dense and robust supply chain from mineral resources to materials and finished products."


"The Republic of Korea is the largest investor in Vietnam among the 146 countries investing in the country, with a total investment of more than $87 billion in more than 10,000 projects, and we highly value the contributions of Korean companies to Vietnam's economic and social development," said Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.


"The Vietnamese government will strive to simplify administrative procedures and improve regulations so that Korean companies can expand their investments in high-tech, electronics, semiconductors, infrastructure construction, renewable energy, biotechnology, and human resources training, so that the bilateral trade volume between the two countries can expand to more than $100 billion in the future."


At the forum, 23 MOUs were signed by 19 Korean companies and organizations, including SK, POSCO, and Hyosung, and 18 Vietnamese companies and organizations.


The agreements will expand trade and investment in industries such as advanced energy, renewable energy, semiconductors, steel, and bio, and strengthen cooperation in R&D, smart factories, artificial intelligence (AI), education, and marketing.