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Local Economy

Last updated: Wednesday, December 13, 2017

 

HCM City and Korean Partners Working toward More Efficient Cooperation

Posted: Monday, December 04, 2017


On the basis of 25 years of strong cooperation between Vietnam and Korea (1992-2017), the cooperation between Ho Chi Minh City and other localities and enterprises of Korea has been increasingly flourishing, reflected by the constantly increasing number of Korean enterprises to invest in the city. Many Korean tourists have also trusted HCM City as their destination in the journey of discovery. Talking to the Vietnam Business Forum, Mr Nguyen Thanh Phong, Chairman of the HCM City People's Committee, affirmed: "Over 25 years of establishing diplomatic relations, cooperation between the two countries of Vietnam and Korea has been growing well. In this context, HCM City has always highly appreciated and built a strong friendship between Ho Chi Minh City and the localities of Korea". My Chau reports.

Could you point out the remarkable results in comprehensive cooperation with the Korea?
In terms of investment, as of August 2017, Korea was the fourth largest investor in HCM City with 1,381 projects and total investment of more than US$3.69 billion. The Korean Business Association currently has more than 300 members and is active. In March 2016, the Investment & Trade Promotion Centre of HCM City (ITPC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) in HCM City. In April 2016, ITPC cooperated with the SHTP Authority, the HCM City Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority (Hepza) to organise investment promotion missions in Seoul, Kwangju and Daegu; which specifically calls for investment in high-tech industries. SHTP and KOTRA are promoting cooperation in the field of electronic circuits and information technology. Currently, five Korean investors are licensed to invest in the Hi-Tech Park including: (1) Daeyoung Electronic Vina (US$63 million); (2) Hannam Electricity (US$74.21 million); (3) Daihan Climate (US$31.4 million); (4) INTOPS (US$80 million); (5) Semist (US$1.4 million) and Samsung (US$2 billion).

In addition to the large FDI projects of Korea, the city is also implementing many projects using ODA capital sponsored by Korea such as Metro Line 5 - phase 2 (the Crossroads of 7 Hien - new Can Giuoc bus station); Metro Line 6 (Ba Queo - Phu Lam); Technical support for pre-feasibility studies for the project of metro branch of Tan Son Nhat Airport (Metro Line 4b-1); and the project of sewers and sewage treatment plant in the West of City.

About trade, in 2016, exports of HCM City to Korea reached over US$1.3 billion; imports from Korea reached more than US$2.7 billion; In the 1st quarter 2017, exports of HCM City to Korea reached over US$310 million and imports from Korea reached nearly US$700 million.

Particularly in the field of tourism, the report of the Ho Chi Minh Department of Tourism showed that in 2016, Korea ranked first in the number of tourists to HCM City with more than 575,000 (source: Ho Chi Minh Department of Tourism). Since 2007 to now, HCM City has been a member of the Tourism Promotion Organisation for Asia Pacific Cities (TPO). The city also coordinated with TPO to organise a seminar on Korean destinations at the International Tourism Fair in HCM City. In 2012, HCM City signed a tourism cooperation agreement with Jeju province and in June 2016, the Ho Chi Minh Department of Tourism coordinated with Coex-Korea Exhibition Centre to successfully organise the International Cafe & Sweets Fair.

In addition, HCM City and Korea have strengthened their cooperation in many other potential fields such as health, education and training, agriculture and gained very encouraging results. For example in the field of agriculture, the Saigon Hi-Tech Park Authority signed the agreement "Testing and checking the replication capacity of international varieties" with the Rural Development Administration (RDA) and the Foundation of Agriculture Technology Transfer and Commercialization (FACT). Under the agreement, the RDA will provide the sample varieties for testing and the Hi-Tech Park Authority was responsible for carrying out the testing and reported the testing results to the RDA. FACT will monitor the progress, manage the evaluation and share the costs with the Hi-Tech Park Authority to conduct testing after agreement. The proposed varieties are lily, corn, orchid and phalaenopsis orchid which are planted in HCM City and Da Lat.

What about the cooperation at the local level?

HCM City is always considered an active city in setting up outstanding and creative policies to attract more investment. According to the leaders of the HCM City Department of Planning and Investment, currently, foreign businesses and investors, including Korean businesses and investors, highly appreciate and are very satisfied with the quality of service of the city government. To continue to hold the first place in the country to attract FDI, worthy of being one of the most dynamic economic centres in the country, HCM City is ready to welcome foreign investors in general, Korean investors in particular with production projects with application of high technology, advanced technology, production of high value-added products, supporting industries in the global value chain investing in City; Especially in Export Processing Zones, Hi-tech Park, and Hi-tech Agricultural Zone. The city is committed to serving enthusiastically and with care, and will do its best to satisfy Korean partners.
HCM City and Busan established a cooperative friendship in 1995 and signed the 2015-2020 Cooperation Programme during a visit by Party Secretary Le Thanh Hai to Busan in May 2015. In September 2003, the direct flight of HCM City - Busan opened to promote the economic, trade and cultural cooperation between the two cities. Since operation of the direct route, more Busan businesses have come to HCM City for investment promotion. There are 14 direct flights between HCM City and Busan each week.

For trade and investment cooperation, there are about 350 enterprises in Busan-Gyeongnam area operating in Vietnam, including HCM City. In August 2008, the Busan Trade Representative Office in Vietnam was officially established and is currently working very actively to support Busan's small and medium enterprises in Vietnam. Since 2004, the two cities have alternated in organisation of the "HCM City Day in Busan" and "Busan Day in HCM City" with a variety of activities, introducing characteristic quintessence of cuisine and art. Up to now, HCM City has held three events in Busan (2005, 2010, and 2015) and vice versa Busan has held four events in HCM City (2004, 2007, 2014, and 2015).

In addition, HCM City has established friendly relations with Daegu City (in May 2015). In November, 2013, the SHTP Authority signed a memorandum of cooperation with Daegu City to promote cooperation in research, development and technology transfer, attracting investment in hi-tech fields, industries supporting high-tech.

After Busan and Daegu, HCM City officially established a cooperative friendship with Seoul in October 2016. The Seoul Metropolitan Government regularly sends invitations to the city for major events such as friendship fairs, smart city conferences and e-government.

Apart from these three cities, the relationship between HCM City and other localities in Korea is also very exciting; Many local Korean delegations have visited the city such as Gangwon Province, Gimpo City, Boeun-gun City - Chungcheongbuk Province, and Jung-Incheon District. There are about 80,000 Koreans living and working and about 2,000 Korean businesses operating effectively in the HCM City. These are important factors contributing to the socio-economic development of the city and also a bridge to strengthen the bilateral relations between Vietnam and Korea.

To further promote relations with other provinces and cities of Korea, in the coming time, what key solutions will HCM City focus on?
The relationship between HCM City and Korea in general, the Korean localities in particular is very good, vibrant and effective in many areas. Particularly, the friendship and cooperation between HCM City and Busan is considered to be the most positive and typical in the local level relations with many training programs, exchange of civil servants, cultural exchanges and medical examination and treatment between two localities. I would like to assert that Korea is one of the important partners of HCM City in the present and coming time.

In the coming time, the city will continue to promote the cooperative relations through the promotion of relations between HCM City and Korean localities; Continue to implement the terms of agreement in the 2015-2020 Cooperation Programme between the two sides, bringing the relationship more deeply, substantively and effectively.

In addition, the city will continue to create favorable conditions for Korean businesses, communities to live, learn and do business in HCM City; At the same time, cultural exchanges, training programs and exchanges between students and people are strengthened.

 








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