The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Ho Chi Minh City held a ceremony on Thursday to celebrate the 4,346th anniversary of the mythical founding of Korea in 2,333 B.C. by the legendary god-king Dangun, which falls on October 3.
The ceremony was attended by the Consul General of the Republic of Korea, Oh Jae Hack; and Vice Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee, Nguyen Thi Hong, along with officials, politicians, guests of the two sides, and local press.
Addressing the event, Oh Jae Hack said he believes that one of the most important factors that helped South Korea achieve the so-called “Miracle on the Han River,” rising out from one of the poorest countries in the world 50 years ago to its current status with few natural resources, capital, or technology, is overseas Koreans all around the globe working hard with local people.
“I believe the day people talk about the “Miracle on the Hong [Red] River as they do about the ‘Miracle on the Han River’ is not that far from now,” Oh said.
The Hong River is an iconic river located in the northern region of Vietnam.
The Korean General Consul highlighted the partnership between Korea and Vietnam over the last 22 years, since the two countries established official diplomatic ties in 1992.
Oh said Korea and Vietnam’s trade volume has grown 56 times in the period, from US$500 million in 1992 to $28 billion as of the end of 2013. Korea’s investment in Vietnam also increased 360-fold from $90 million to $32.8 billion as of this July.
According to Oh, more than 100,000 Korean and Vietnamese nationals currently reside in Vietnam and Korea, and about 7,000 Korean-Vietnamese children are born every year.
“I will always listen to diverse voices and rush to wherever or whoever needs me if it is necessary to help develop the relationship between Korea and Vietnam until my last day in office,” said Oh, who has served more than three years during his term in the city.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Thi Hong, Vice Chairman of the HCMC’s People Committee, said she believes that with goodwill and great effort from both sides, cooperation between HCMC and Korea will continue to thrive in the future.
“As an economic hub and driving force of Vietnam, the HCMC government will continue to spare no efforts to improve local infrastructure and the investment environment to provide better living conditions for all who live here, including those from South Korea,” Hong said.
According to Hong, South Korea is now the 4th largest investor in HCMC, with about 1,000 projects worth US$5 billion. In the first eight months of this year, South Korea was the 6th largest trading partner of the city, with total exports and imports of $1.3 billion.
In the tourism sector, the southern hub hosted more than 136,000 arrivals from South Kora in the first half of this year.
Hong noted that Vietnam’s Party Secretary General, Nguyen Phu Trong, on Thursday began his official visit to Korea at the invitation of President Park Geun Hye to promote the comprehensive relationship between the two countries.
She added that the fact that both sides have exchanged frequent visits has shown not only mutual trust, but also political determination from both sides to deepen the relationship more substantively.