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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  15  August 2014  

VN, South Korea move towards free trade pact

The Republic of Korea will accelerate negotiations over a free-trade agreement (FTA) with Viet Nam, in an effort to sign the trade pact later this year.

Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Yoon Sang Jik made the commitment at a working session in Seoul with the head of the Party Central Committee's Economic Commission Vuong Dinh Hue on Tuesday. Hue, heading a delegation, was on a four-day visit to RoK from August 10 to 13 to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries.

The RoK minister proposed that Hue should pay due attention to and step up negotiations to ensure that the agreement is signed in 2014 as scheduled.

For his part, Hue appreciated the RoK minister's proposals, saying that the Party Central Committee's Economic Commission will encourage the relevant agencies to conclude the FTA negotiations soon.

Viet Nam was an attractive investment destination for RoK businesses and the signing of the agreement would facilitate Korean investments in Viet Nam, bringing plenty of co-operation opportunities for the two business communities, Yoon said.

Currently, nearly 10 Korean banks and financial institutions have expressed their desire to invest in Viet Nam.

The two sides agreed that RoK and Viet Nam needed to expand co-operation in economics, trade and investment in new areas to tap their potential fully.

Yoon acknowledged Hue's proposal seeking Korean government assistance for the establishment of another Viet Nam-RoK incubator park in northern Viet Nam, and said that he would submit the proposal to the government for consideration. The first incubator park will come into operation in June next year in the Mekong delta city of Can Tho.

He also welcomed Hue's initiative to boost Korean garment and textile investment in Viet Nam to anticipate a new wave of investment as soon as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement is signed.

The two sides agreed that Viet Nam and South Korea should cooperate closely in developing the support industry, broaden human resource training programmes in Viet Nam, promote connectivity in developing regional and global supply chains, and support their small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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