Vietnamese communist party chief Nguyen Phu Trong arrived in Seoul, South Korea this afternoon for a four-day visit to reinforce the two countries' strategic partnership, the state news agency reported.
Secretary General Trong received a red carpet welcome at Seongnam Airport, Vietnam News Agency reported.
His visit, made at the invitation of South Korean President Park Geun-hye, aims to further strengthen and deepen bilateral relations in all-around field, especially in trade and business, the news agency said.
In an interview with South Korean news agency Yonhap before the visit, Mr. Trong said a free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and South Korea would help realize the two countries’ aspirations for common prosperity and mutual benefit.
Since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1992, South Korea has been one of the leading economic partners of Vietnam. As of June this year, the country ranked first among foreign investors in Vietnam with 3,687 projects and came second in terms of registered capital with US$31.2 billion, doubling the 2008 figure.
South Korea is Vietnam’s third largest trade partner with two-way trade reaching $27.5 billion last year, quadrupling the 2007 figure.
The two countries set to raise bilateral trade to $70 billion by 2020 and are actively finalising negotiations towards the early signing of the bilateral FTA.
South Korea is also the second largest donor of official development assistance to Vietnam after Japan, with a committed amount of $1.2 billion for the 2012-2015 period.
Both countries have seen 1 million reciprocal visits a year. Approximately 130,000 South Koreans live and work in Vietnam and 75,000 Vietnamese work and study in South Korea.