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Korea, Vietnam agree to enhance ties on trade, development projects

By Kim Yon-se

Published : Dec. 22, 2021 - 16:47

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Korea’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Moon Sung-wook (right) poses with Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien during a meeting on trade ties in downtown Seoul, Wednesday. (Yonhap) Korea’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Moon Sung-wook (right) poses with Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien during a meeting on trade ties in downtown Seoul, Wednesday. (Yonhap)

SEJONG -- South Korea and Vietnam agreed to bolster coordination on trade and development projects during a ministerial meeting in Seoul, Wednesday, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said.

At the meeting, Korea’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Moon Sung-wook signed a memorandum of understanding with Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien on urea supply.

Under the deal, Korea will import up to 120,000 metric tons of urea from Vietnam per annum over the next three years, starting from 2022. The local industry has recently suffered a shortage of urea and urea water, a chemical solution used to power diesel vehicles.

Supply from Vietnam will take up a large portion of the nation’s collective, planned urea import volume from a variety of countries, the said the Industry Ministry of Korea.

Minister Moon also asked his counterpart to support Korean enterprises’ participation in a Vietnamese power development project. A group of local companies are pushing to expand into the Southeast Asian country’s LNG power generation business.

The Hai Lang, Ca Na, Long An and Hai Phong 2 LNG power generation projects are worth $11.6 billion.

Moon, during a keynote speech, stressed that Vietnam is the third-largest trading partner of Korea. He said the two economies “have built close cooperative relations in terms of mutual investment and trade via the bilateral free trade agreement (which took effect in December 2015) or other efforts both in the private and governmental sector.”

Moon also called for his counterpart to support Korea’s planned entry to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Vietnam is one of the 11 members of the CPTPP, a multilateral trade pact in the Asia-Pacific region.

The CPTPP, launched in December 2018, has been signed by 11 countries -- Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Australia and Japan.

By Kim Yon-se (kys@heraldcorp.com)