Việt Nam-RoK cooperation should focus on technology transfer: expert

VIETNAM, August 23 –

SEOUL — Việt Nam must have protectionist policies to encourage companies in the Republic of Korea (RoK) to voluntarily transfer technology to Vietnamese partners through their projects in the Southeast Asian nation, according to a scholar at the Institute of Korea International Economic Policy (KIEP). ).

In a recent interview with the Vietnam News Agency about the upcoming international conference on RoK-Vietnam cooperation, Kawk Sung-il, director of KIEP’s security strategy center, said that Vietnamese companies should pay close attention to the development of their own technologies in parallel with the promotion. international cooperation, making the transfer of technology more effective through cooperation with foreign companies operating in the national market.

Bilateral relations between the Republic of Korea and Vietnam have developed strongly over the past three decades and achieved fruitful achievements, especially in economic terms, he said, adding that the two sides should discuss more cooperation methods to develop sustainable way relations in the future.

According to Kwak, economic cooperation is a bright spot in the bilateral relationship with Việt Nam which is now the Republic of Korea’s third largest trading partner.

At the time the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1992, two-way trade turnover was only US$490 million, equivalent to 0.3 percent of the ROK’s total trade revenue. However, 28 years later, in 2020, the figure rose to 7 percent.

In terms of investment, the Republic of Korea becomes the largest foreign direct investor in Việt Nam. In 2021, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, RoK investment in Vietnam decreased, but many Korean companies still ranked Vietnam as the most promising country among ASEAN member nations.

However, the official also mentioned the trade imbalance between the two countries, saying that as two-way trade increases, the imbalance is also gradually worsening.

Increasing Vietnam’s agricultural exports to the Republic of Korea can help resolve the trade imbalance, but this is only a short-term remedy, he said, adding that Vietnam needs to have solutions to attract more investment from the Republic of Korea, thereby helping Vietnamese companies to participate. the RoK production network.

If a solid supply chain can be formed between the two countries, the bilateral mutual relationship will be promoted more sustainably, he stated.

He also noted that Việt Nam has made great efforts to attract foreign investment. In June 2020, the National Assembly of Việt Nam passed the Amended Investment Law which came into effect in 2021. This is considered a major effort by the Vietnamese government to improve the transparency of the institution through legal regulations.

The expert suggested that Việt Nam needs to promote production capacity and technology to join the supply chain.

When analyzing Vietnam’s export value, it can be seen that the proportion of domestic value added is still low, according to Kwak Sung-il. This means that most of the production, components and spare parts are located abroad and the localization rate of the product is low. At the end of 2017, out of a total of 26,700 FDI projects in Vietnam, only 600 projects had technology transfer contracts.

Compared to other ASEAN countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, the value-added rate of Vietnamese products is still low. Therefore, Vietnamese companies should pay more attention to the development of technologies together with international cooperation, thereby helping to improve the effectiveness of technology transfer through cooperation with foreign companies operating in the domestic market, he said. —VNS

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