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Korea, Vietnam to bolster critical materials supply chains

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Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Lee Chang-yang / Courtesy of Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy
Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Lee Chang-yang / Courtesy of Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy

By Baek Byung-yeul

Korea and Vietnam agreed to increase cooperation in supply chains for minerals that are needed for IT devices and electric car batteries, eco-friendly renewable energy and textiles, according to the industry ministry, Monday.

Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said its minister signed a total of three agreements with his Vietnamese counterpart during a ministerial meeting in Seoul.

Korea's Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Lee Chang-yang and Vietnam's Industry and Trade Minister Nguyen Hong Dien signed the agreements following a summit between President Yoon Suk-yeol and Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

The Vietnamese president made a state visit to Korea at the invitation of the Korean president to commemorate the 30th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.

With the three agreements, Korea and Vietnam came to an understanding that the two countries will further expand cooperation in industrial supply chains, carbon neutrality and trade facilitation through greenhouse gas reduction, clean energy and expansion of the rules of origin as well as core minerals.

For the cooperation on core minerals, the two ministers agreed to bolster partnerships in exploration and development of core minerals in Vietnam, promote investment, stabilize supply and manage global supply chains of the minerals together.

"Since Minister Lee proposed strengthening cooperation in the supply chains for core minerals including rare earths during a meeting with Vietnam's minister of trade and industry in August, he has continued discussing ways to work together for core minerals by sending an investigation team," the industry ministry elaborated.

Vietnam is a resource-rich country with abundant mineral resources. The country sn the world's No.2 in rare earths in terms of reserves and third in tungsten. Korea has capabilities in mining, refining and smelting core minerals, so the two sides expect there will be a synergy effect.

For the agreement of cooperation in electricity industry, the two countries agreed to work together on developing ammonia co-firing technology and offshore wind energy. Given Vietnam is heavily dependent on coal power generation, the development of ammonia co-firing technology is expected to greatly contribute to the carbon neutrality of Vietnam.

In addition, the two sides inked an agreement to implement cumulative provisions of British-Vietnamese origin. The agreement will allow preferential tariffs to be applied even if clothes manufactured by processing Korean textiles in Vietnam are exported to the U.K. in the future.
Baek Byung-yeul

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