중앙데일리

Hanoi agrees to a partnership with Seoul

Goal set for $20 billion in yearly trade by 2015

Oct 22,2009
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, left, and Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet, right, hold a joint press conference yesterday at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam, after their summit meeting. [YONHAP]
HANOI - The leaders of South Korea and Vietnam agreed yesterday to upgrade the two countries’ relations to a “strategic cooperative partnership” to accommodate not only rapidly expanding economic and cultural exchanges but also political and security ties.

On the second day of his trip to Vietnam’s capital city, President Lee Myung-bak sat down for a summit with his counterpart, Nguyen Minh Triet. A broad range of topics for future-oriented ties were addressed during the 50-minute meeting, said Lee Dong-kwan, public affairs senior secretary for the Blue House. Following their summit, a joint statement was issued and the two leaders held a press conference.

Since South Korea tied diplomatic knots with Vietnam in 1992, civilian and governmental exchanges between the two countries have expanded rapidly. Following an agreement to form a strategic cooperative partnership, Lee and Triet agreed to open an annual strategic dialogue channel. The vice-minister-level talks will address foreign affairs, security and defense cooperation, the Blue House said in a press release.

With yesterday’s agreement, Vietnam became South Korea’s third strategic cooperative partner, after China and Russia.

“Based on the development of bilateral relations over the past 17 years, Korea and Vietnam upgraded their ties to address aspects ranging from politics, foreign affairs, security, social and human exchanges as well as economic cooperation,” said Kim Eun-hye, President Lee’s spokeswoman. “This reflects that Vietnam has become a key friend of Korea.”

Kim also said President Lee’s visit to Vietnam has added momentum to his “New Asia Initiative,” a vision he announced in March to broaden South Korea’s diplomatic reach to Asia-Pacific nations.

During the summit, Lee and Triet also agreed to a wide range of economic exchange programs. Noting that bilateral trade volume has grown $500 million in 1992 to $10 billion in 2008, Lee and Triet agreed that the amount should increase to $20 billion by 2015.

Lee also praised Vietnam’s efforts to reform and open up the country’s markets over the past two decades, a move expected to significantly improve protection for Vietnam in its trade with Korea.

Once Vietnam is given market economy status, Korea will have to accept prices Vietnam sets in all anti-dumping investigations of Vietnamese products. Currently, Korea uses a third-country price for calculating dumping margins against imports from Vietnam.

In their joint press conference, Triet said he appreciated Lee’s decision to grant market economy status to Vietnam. “It will be a great help for Vietnam,” said Triet.

The two countries also agreed to begin discussions this year on forming a joint team to study the feasibility of a bilateral free trade agreement.

According to the Blue House, Lee asked the Vietnamese president’s support for Korean companies’ participation in the country’s infrastructure programs, including train construction and mine development.

The two leaders also endorsed a cooperation project for developing Vietnam’s Hong River as a symbol of cooperation between their respective capital cities.

“When [Lee] was the Seoul mayor in 2005, he visited Hanoi and helped the city create the basic development plan to develop the Hong River,” Blue House spokeswoman Kim said.

The program, expected to cost $7 billion, will develop the riversides of the Hong over a decade. “Through the agreement, Korean companies’ participation is guaranteed,” Kim said.

“Furthermore, Korean companies’ participation in the $9 billion high-speed train project was promised at the summit,” Kim said. “This is another significant step in economic cooperation.”

Lee and Triet also agreed to work closely together at international forums. According to Lee Dong-kwan, the senior public affairs secretary, the Vietnamese leader stressed his support for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, and President Lee appreciated Vietnam’s support for the recent UN Security Council resolution sanctioning the North for its nuclear arms development.

President Lee praised Vietnam for


By Ser Myo-ja



dictionary dictionary | 프린트 메일로보내기 내블로그에 저장