Viet Nam urged to better facilitate Korean investors

Tuesday, May 09, 2023 15:02

A production line of the South Korea-invested Hana Micron Vina Co in Bac Giang Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam

Viet Nam should make changes to its legal system, speed up administrative reforms, and cut off sub-licences to better facilitate Korean investors, said Hong Sun, chairman of the Korea Chamber of Business in Viet Nam.

He suggested Viet Nam relax policies on work permits, temporary residence, and fire protection permits during a seminar to seek further trade and investment opportunities between Viet Nam and South Korea in Ha Noi on Monday.

The chairman said many Korean businesses operating in Viet Nam, especially those in high-tech, finance and energy sectors, considered increasing their investment capital and making new investments if the country's investment climate remained stable.

Korean businesses needed to pay close attention to legal issues to avoid risk in investment in Viet Nam, he said, adding that these firms should carefully review the contracts, and legal issues and seek legal advice from reputable law offices when they start applying for the licence approvals.

Vu Tien Loc, chairman of the Vietnam International Arbitration Centre agreed. He said businesses from the two countries needed to pay close attention to legal issues and contracts as a means of protecting each other from risks in transactions.

Loc added that with a large network of experts, economists, arbitrators, the Vietnam International Arbitration Centre, the Korean Business Association, and the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board would provide them with useful legal advice for their investment activities in the future.

Currently, South Korea is Viet Nam's leading source of foreign investment with a total capital of US$80.5 billion. In the first four months of 2023, South Korea, along with Singapore, Japan, mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong accounted for 75.1 per cent of the country's total investment capital.

Besides investment, South Korea also ranks second in terms of cooperation in tourism and labour, and third in trade exchanges with Viet Nam.

Bilateral trade between the two countries reached nearly $88 billion last year. South Korea's export turnover to Viet Nam last year totalled $60.98 billion, while it spent $26.72 billion on importing goods from the Southeast Asian nation.

However, Viet Nam's exports to South Korea contracted 7 per cent year-on-year to $7.8 billion in the first four months of 2023. During the period, Viet Nam's imports from the market hit $16.7 billion, down 26 per cent year-on-year.

Trade experts said the Korean market had an import scale of $731 billion each year, so there remained much potential for Vietnamese enterprises to tap into this lucrative market. — VNS

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