“Both Vietnam and South Korea have long history and I want to develop already cordial mutual ties even further,” said Vietnamese Tourism Minister Hoang Tuan Anh when he was in Seoul recently.
He made the remarks at a gala dinner held held on Sept. 17 at the Lotte Hotel in downtown Seoul on the occasion of “Vietnam Tourism and Culture Festival 2014.”
Mr. Hoang Tuan Anh is the minister for culture, sports, and tourism of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. He also serves as president of the Vietnam Olympic Committee.
“We want to attract more Korean tourists to Vietnam,” the Vietnamese minister said. “We would like to develop the bilateral ties based on the strategic partnership formed years ago”
Among the guests were several top foreign envoys and their spouses including Russian Ambassador to Seoul Konstantin Vnukov and his wife Madam Yulia Vnukova.
Various kinds of traditional Vietnamese dances and other cultural performances captivated the guests during the gala dinner.
Earlier in the day the “Vietnam Tourism Forum” was held at the same hotel with the theme of “Vietnam Tourism Potentials and Golf Tourism.” The minister attended the forum as well.
“This annual Vietnam Tourism and Culture Festival is aimed at introducing to the local Koreans various cultural aspects of Vietnam,” Minister Anh added.
Prior to the tourism seminar and gala dinner on the day the Vietnamese minister met with his South Korean counterpart, Mr. Kim Jong-Deok, minister of culture, sports, and tourism and discussed with him the ways of promoting mutual cooperation and exchanges.
On Sept. 18, 2014 the Vietnamese minister and his delegation visited South Korea’s cultural city of Gwangju for a variety of cultural performances at the city. The minister met with Gwangju Mayor Yoon Jang-Hyun for talks to promote tourism and cultural exchanges.
The number of Koreans visiting Vietnam has been on a sharp increase in the past decade or so.
In 2007 more than 400,000 South Koreans travelled to Vietnam. But three years later the number of South Korean visitors increased to 520,000.
In 2013 over 700,000 South Koreans visited Vietnam. In the same year over 100,000 Vietnamese visited South Korea.
South Korea has emerged as one of Vietnam’s six strategic cooperation partners.
In 2011 South Korea became the largest investor in Vietnam with over 25 billion US dollars in over 2,500 projects.
Two years earlier the bilateral trade volume reached 13 billion US dollars, making South Korea Vietnam’s fifth largest trade partner.
Also South Korea is Vietnam’s second largest ODA donor country with 300 million US dollars in 2010 and 411.8 US dollars in 2011, respectively.
Presently, more than 100,000 Vietnamese people are living, working, or studying in South Korea.
About the same number of South Koreans are living or working in Vietnam.
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