Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Park Byeong-seug (Photo: Yonhap)
Seoul (VNA) - Secretary General of
the ASEAN - Korea Centre (AKC) Lee Hyuk has highlighted the significance of the
upcoming visit to Vietnam by Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic
of Korea (RoK), Park Byeong-seug, from October 31 to November 4.
In an interview granted recently to the Vietnam
News Agency, Lee said the visit is taking place amid the complicated
developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, reflecting Vietnam’s importance to the
RoK and the close bonds between the two counties.
It also proves the commitment to building a
greater bilateral partnership in the future, especially at a time when the
region and the world are striving to recover from the pandemic. The visit also
reflects the RoK’s support for Vietnam in its role as ASEAN Chair 2020.
Lee said regular visits by the two countries’
leaders have contributed to further deepening bilateral ties and laying a solid
foundation for the development of relations. The upcoming meeting between the
two top legislators will enable both sides to overcome the challenges posed by
the pandemic and further expand bilateral collaboration.
Vietnam granted special immigration licenses to
340 Korean businesspeople in April. Later, in October, two-way flights between
the countries resumed - a move expected to ease pressure on their respective aviation
and tourism industries.
Commenting on the prospects for bilateral ties,
Lee said the relationship has grown considerably over the past 28 years.
Two-way trade hit 70.3 billion USD in 2019, while RoK investment in Vietnam
reached 4.5 billion USD and tourist arrivals from both countries totalled 4.8
Despite the existing difficulties, RoK companies
still poured capital of 1.4 billion USD into Vietnam in the first half of this
year and expanded business partnerships.
People-to-people exchange holds potential, Lee said.
Apart from the increasing number of visitors, over 58,000 Vietnamese students
are now studying in the RoK, or 31 percent of foreign students in the country,
making Vietnam the second-largest source of students, behind China. Moreover,
more and more young South Koreans are learning Vietnamese and seeking job
opportunities in the country.
In order to bolster bilateral ties for the
benefit of the people of the two nations, Lee said the RoK and Vietnam should join hands to
counter the spread of COVID-19 and recover their economies.
He suggested exploring new fields of cooperation
post-pandemic, such as biotechnology, medical services, digital technology, and
Lee expressed his belief that the close bonds
between the two peoples will further tighten the relationship between the two countries
in the future./.