The Korean minister, who is on an official visit to Vietnam on September 17-18, highly valued the Vietnamese Government’s efforts to promote bilateral relations despite COVID-19 impacts, voicing her hope that the two sides will resume high-level mutual visits at an early date.
She also expressed her impression of Vietnam’s containment of COVID-19 and efforts to carry out bilateral exchanges amid the pandemic, noting that a large number of Koreans are wishing to enter Vietnam for investment and business purposes and so are many Vietnamese.
The RoK is ready to facilitate entry for Vietnamese people in the current context, Kang said, adding that she hopes the two countries will soon reach consensus on special entry procedures so as to further facilitate Korean experts and entrepreneurs’ entry into Vietnam.
The official suggested both countries soon sign an agreement on social insurance to better ensure employees’ interests. She also proposed Vietnam include the RoK in the reference country list in bidding for medical equipment procurement as her country has strength in producing international-standard medical equipment.
Appreciating the minister’s opinions, PM Phuc affirmed that the best possible conditions will be provided for Korean experts and entrepreneurs to enter Vietnam.
Vietnam supports the RoK’s New Southern Policy and hopes that the two sides will maintain high-level exchanges on the basis of ensured pandemic prevention and control, thereby bolstering bilateral cooperation, he said.
The Government leader asked the RoK to coordinate to carry out effective measures and create favourable procedures so that the countries can reach the trade target of 100 billion USD in the near future and balance bilateral trade.
Many major Korean businesses have been operating successfully in Vietnam, thus contributing to bilateral ties, he noted, affirming the Vietnamese Government’s attention to all opinions from Korean firms.
At the meeting, the PM also voiced his hope that the RoK will reduce and then eliminate binding conditions for its ODA and concessional loans while expanding non-refundable aid for Vietnam, receive more Vietnamese guest workers, and provide more support for the Vietnamese community in the RoK, especially amid the current COVID-19 pandemic.
In terms of the East Sea issue, he hoped the RoK will keep supporting Vietnam and ASEAN’s stance in this regard, including maintaining peace and stability, ensuring safety and security of navigation and overflight in the waters, and respecting international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
* On the same day, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosted a reception for Country Director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Vietnam Andrew Jeffries, during which he expressed his hope that Jeffries will further enhance the Vietnam-ADB partnership.
The meeting between Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and ADB Country Director Andrew Jeffries on September 17, 2020. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)
The host leader affirmed the Vietnamese Government always considers the bank a closet and important development partner, noting that many ADB-funded projects have greatly contributed to local socio-economic development.
Since 1993, the ADB has assisted the country with US$17 billion, US$14 billion of which has been disbursed, he added.
Highlighting the close ties between Vietnam and the ADB, Jeffries said as the country is building development strategies for 2021-2025 and the next 10 years while the ADB is also working out its country partnership strategies for the next five and 10 years, the more their strategies match, the more optimal conditions for coordination activities will be generated.
He congratulated the Vietnamese Government on its concurrent successful control of COVID-19 and ensuring of socio-economic development.
The ADB has taken swift actions to assist regional countries, and it has also helped Vietnam in the pandemic combat, the director said, stressing the bank’s readiness to discuss with Vietnamese partners to seek the best measures for supporting the nation.
At the reception, PM Phuc appreciated the ADB’s tripling of the COVID-19 response package for its members, including Vietnam.
He asked the ADB to help Vietnam design the socio-economic development strategy and plan for 2021-2025 and work closely with the country during the building and implementation of the country partnership strategy for the new period.
The two sides should also accelerate the disbursement of funding for projects on the 2020-2021 list so as to promote growth, he added.