Bui Quang Tuan, Director General of Vietnam Institute of Economics speaks with The Korea Herald in Hanoi on Nov. 23. (The Korea Herald)
HANOI, Vietnam -- In an era of shifting supply chains, Vietnam is poised for a bigger global role and its partnership with China will provide momentum for that, said the chief of the Southeast Asian country’s top economic think tank.
“China has pledged to strengthen its economic cooperation with Vietnam and the partnership regarding the supply chain is a big part of that,” Bui Quang Tuan, director general of Vietnam Institute of Economics, told The Korea Herald, at his office in the Vietnamese capital on Nov. 23.
“It is in line with the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and a catalyst that could boost Vietnam’s economic growth. Vietnam is the No.1 importer of raw materials from China, but the trade balance is currently in the red – the partnership could change that.”
In early November, Chinese President Xi Jinping, in his meeting with Vietnamese Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong, vowed to seek closer cooperation with the country’s “comrade and brother” Vietnam in building a stable supply chain.
The summit came as Vietnam has emerged as an increasingly crucial part of global supply networks, with manufacturers expanding their business in the country.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed investors to diversify their investments to minimize risks,” and Vietnam stands to benefit from it, Bui said.
Bui cited Vietnam’s ample human capital as one of the main attractions. According to the United Nations, the country’s population has reached some 99 million as of November this year, with over half under the age of 25.
“This allows Vietnam to provide a young, educated and literate workforce for global investors, coupled with opportunities in industries that are developing at a fast pace.”
As for the prospect of South Korea-Vietnam exchanges, Bui noted the “similarities” between the two countries.
“Vietnam and South Korea are culturally very similar. Young Vietnamese like South Korean culture and what Korean companies can offer to them – this can become a strong momentum for bigger investments.”
Bui mentioned Samsung’s new research and development center in Hanoi slated to open later this month as an example of what can benefit both Korea and Vietnam. The new center is Samsung’s largest R&D facility in the ASEAN region with its 16-story building located on an 11,603-square-meter site in the heart of Hanoi.
“The Vietnamese government is interested in actively supporting such R&D projects. Businesses will be able to receive several benefits in such areas,” he noted.
Bui also lauded the role of Korean builders in Vietnam, saying that they have been setting fresh standards for the real estate market there.
“The Starlake City project by Daewoo Engineering & Construction has set new standards for the Vietnamese real estate market. It has presented an option for people who want more than a house for living and as a space where they can enjoy their lives.”
Korean builder Daewoo E&C’s $2.2 billion new town project near Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi will consist of high-end villas, hotels, commercial and government agency buildings.
“The Vietnamese government is making efforts to create a lucrative environment for investment,” Bui said.
“It believes it is important to maintain a strong foreign direct investment for growth and has been reforming the law to cater to such investments.”
By Jung Min-kyung (firstname.lastname@example.org