By Sean Kim
“Viet Nam has one and half times as large a territory as the Korea peninsula and twice as many people as Korea,” said Governor Kim Kwan-yong of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province at a meeting of the Expo Advisory Committee of the 2017 Ho Chi Minh City-Gyeongju World Culture Expo slated for Nov. 19 to Dec. 3 this year.
Speaking at a board of advisors of the Expo at the Press Center in Seoul on July 13, Governor Kim,, concurrently chairman of the Organizing Committee of the 2017 Ho Chi Minh City-Gyeongju World Culture Expo, said, “Furthermore, this year marks the first quarter of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, we have 150,000 Koreans living there and the same number of Vietnamese immigrants into Korea and we have a total of 50,000 Korean-Vietnamese families living in Korea today.”
The advisory committee was formed with some 30 members who represented all walks of life in Korea, including the media, from which Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post attended the meeting.
Governor Kim went to great lengths emphasizing the importance of increased cooperation and exchange between Korea and Viet Nam, especially in the economic area. He said, “Korea’s investment in Viet Nam totals over US$184 million in electronics and mobile phones; US$61.3 million in petrochemical and footwear industries; US$ 58.8 million in manufacturing;
US$47.9 million in wholesale and distribution; and nearly US$20 million in serviced industry.” Then he said that Korea exported a total of US$32.6 billion worth of goods to Viet Nam and that Korean imports from Viet Nam totaled over US$12.4 billion.
The meeting then heard ideas and suggestions from the members of the advisory committee for the successful implementation of all the programs of the Korean-Vietnamese cultural expo.
The diplomatic relations between Korea and China continue to be on the strain and many people in Korea feel that China is trying to bully Korea as she is a small country. Following the undue pressures put on the innocent Korean businesses in Korea, eg, Lotte, many Korean companies, large and small, are thinking of reducing their dependence on the Chinese market.
Viet Nam is among the best countries, according to Korean business leaders, for relocation of their businesses in China when the pressure comes to an unbearable level.