RoK Ambassador: RoK will strengthen comprehensive counterpart ties with Vietnam
QĐND - Saturday, December 20, 2008, 20:47 (GMT+7)
“The relations between the Republic of Korea and Vietnam will be further strengthened in all fields of politics, economics, trade, education and culture,” affirmed RoK Ambassador to Vietnam Im Hong Jae during a press conference in Hanoi yesterday afternoon to mark the 16th anniversary of the diplomatic relation establishment between the two countries (December 22, 1992).
He said that RoK highly appreciated the socio-economic achievements and the prospect for development in 2009 of Vietnam. Though admitting that RoK is also now in economic difficulties as being affected by the global financial crisis, RoK is always Vietnam’s major counterpart and strongly supports the capacity and determination for socio-economic development of the government and people of Vietnam.
The Ambassador also stressed that with the commitment of US $268.7 million in ODA for Vietnam in 2009, the RoK becomes the second biggest country, only after France, in ODA commitment to Vietnam.
On economics and trade, the bilateral trade turnover between Vietnam and the RoK, for the first time, is expected to reach US $ 10 billion this year, 20 times higher than that in 1992, the year when the two countries started to establish diplomatic relations with only US $490 million. RoK stands the fourth in the total capital among countries and territories having investment in Vietnam with US $15.8 billion by 2008, 60 times higher than that of 1992 and ranks first in the total number of investment projects in Vietnam with 2,104 projects. Ambassador Im Hong Jae expressed his belief that once Korean big investment projects receive approval from the Vietnamese government, RoK will return to the first in the list of countries and territories investing in Vietnam.
On the culture, according to Director of the Korean Cultural Centre in Vietnam Kim Sang Ug, in recent years, cultural exchange between the two countries has bridged people of the two countries. Many cultural and art events, such as painting exhibitions, art performances and recently Vietnam – Korean Culinary Culture Festival received and attracted a lot of audiences. Director Kim also reveals that in the coming time, they not only introduce Korean culture in Vietnam but also pay more attention to introduce Vietnamese culture to Korea.
The year 2008 also marks the co-operation in education between the two countries. In March, 2008, the Kumho Asiana group set up a scholarship and culture foundation in Vietnam with an initial fund of US $2 million. Under this, every year the foundation presents scholarship to over 200 students for their whole study time. Besides, other businesses and agencies of RoK have presented scholarship worth US $ 300,000 to around 1,000 Vietnamese students during the year.