HANOI, Vietnam - Provincial governments of Korea and Vietnam boasted their abundant infrastructure, key industries, and investor incentives during the Korea-Vietnam Economic Cooperation Forum held on Friday in Hanoi, Vietnam, pinning high hopes on elevated ties between the two countries.
Kim Young-hwan, governor of North Chungcheong Province, suggested Korea and Vietnam work together to diversify global supply chains that are heavily reliant on China amid the escalating US-China rivalry.
North Chungcheong Province is a major producer of batteries for electric vehicles and solar power panels as it hosts production facilities of key players like LG Energy Solution and Hanwha Q Cells.
“Drastic changes are happening in the provinces,” the governor said. “Amid the US-China rivalry, Korea and Vietnam need to be in one another’s shoes.”
He stressed Korea should make more efforts to win the hearts of the Vietnamese people by investing more to support their growth.
“We can tackle geopolitical challenges together by joining hands, which would open another fruitful 30 years ahead,” he added.
Ngo Dong Hai, secretary of the Thai Binh Provincial Party Committee, expressed high hopes for the newly elevated ties between the two countries, which he said would further facilitate exchanges among provincial governments.
“National-level partnership is crucial but it is also important to strengthen the province-level partnership that has more potential,” he said.
The Vietnamese province recently opened a Korean office in a way to better communicate with local officials and renew its commitment to bilateral ties.
The province has extended ties with Korean provincial governments. Among them is a memorandum of understanding signed with North and South Gyeongsang Provinces, under which the provinces agreed to bolster business and cultural exchanges.
“Thai Binh Province, equipped with upgraded investor incentives and abundant industrial infrastructure, is ready to attract more investors,” he said.
Lee Cheol-woo, governor of North Gyeongsang Province, unveiled his vision to create a “provincial metaverse” of 10 million people by 2026.
Early this year, the provincial government launched a policy advisory group of experts for virtual development, called Metaverse Alliance.
The advisory group, consisting of some 40 experts from various fields, including culture and education, will come up with strategic tasks and share information about the province’s metaverse space.
“Both Korea and Vietnam should focus on technology in order to survive in this competitive world,” he said. “Asian countries, especially Korea and Vietnam, should work together as we share similar characteristics like adaptability.”
Herald Corp., publisher of The Korea Herald and Herald Business, co-hosted the business forum together with the Korea International Trade Association, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Korea-Vietnam Friendship Association, in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of Korea-Vietnam diplomatic ties.
By Lee Ji-yoon
Korea Herald correspondent