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Biz leaders of Korea, Vietnam discuss cooperation in green energy transition

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Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho, right, holds hands with Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc during a business forum in Seoul, Dec. 6. Yonhap
Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho, right, holds hands with Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc during a business forum in Seoul, Dec. 6. Yonhap

Business leaders of Korea and Vietnam on Tuesday discussed efforts to deepen bilateral economic cooperation in new areas such as a transition to green energy, in a step toward carbon neutrality and sustainable growth.

The business forum, hosted by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, took place a day after the summit between President Yoon Suk-yeol and Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, during which they agreed to elevate the relations to a "comprehensive, strategic partnership."

Nguyen is on a three-day state visit from Sunday marking the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year. He was also present at the forum.

Participants noted that how to achieve carbon emission reduction goals remains a challenge for manufacturing-oriented Vietnam, and Korea can be a key partner in facilitating Hanoi's energy transition in the long term with its strengths in sustainable energy.

"Korea's energy industry has experience in infrastructure investment and construction, financial investment capacity based on pension funds, and solutions for various energy sources, such as LNG, solar power, hydrogen and ESS (energy storage system)," Hanwha Energy CEO Jung In-sub, one of the speakers for the session, said.

"We highly anticipate Vietnam cooperating with us for its sustainable economic growth," Jung said.

Joo Si-bo, CEO of POSCO International and chair of the Korea-Vietnam economic cooperation committee, called for the two countries to make close joint efforts to address various global issues, such as the intensifying economic nationalism and competition over supply chains.

About 300 people attended the event, including Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho, Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh and Industry Minister Nguyen Hong Dien.
The two sides also signed more than a dozen memorandums of understanding on aviation, smart city, retail, agriculture and digital technologies.

During the forum, Choo expressed hope for expanding bilateral ties in the supply chain amid global challenges.

"Last year, Korea overcame supply shortages of urea solution on the back of support from Vietnam. Korea supplied COVID-19 vaccines to Vietnam, which shed light on the value of bilateral cooperation," Choo said.

"Based on such experiences, Korea and Vietnam will lead regional economic and trade regimes, including the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, and bolster ties in the international division of labor and supply chain," Choo said.

Choo said that based on such efforts, the two countries can reach a combined bilateral trade of $100 billion in 2023.

The trade between Korea and Vietnam came to $80.7 billion in 2021, rising sharply from $69.1 billion tallied a year earlier. (Yonhap)


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