HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnam and South Korean aim to substantially increase their bilateral trade during President Moon Jae-in's three-day visit to the Southeast Asian country.
South Korea has become Vietnam's largest foreign investor and second-biggest trading partner since diplomatic relations were established in 1992. Bilateral trade stood at $61.5 billion last year.
Speaking to reporters at a joint news briefing with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi, Moon said the two leaders aim for $ 100 billion by 2020.
"President Quang has said the country aims to build itself into a modern industrial state by 2020. I emphasized (to him) that close and mutually beneficial cooperation between the countries will greatly contribute to achieving our mutual goal of reaching $100 billion in mutual trade by 2020," Moon said.
Moon said the two countries agreed to hold annual summits and that "heartfelt talks between the leaders will provide an opportunity to deepen trust between the two countries."
Quang said that after 25 years of establishing diplomatic relations, the ties have grown in "a rapid, comprehensive and effective manner." He also encouraged South Korean companies to expand their investments in Vietnam, particularly in infrastructure, high-tech industries, energy and supporting industries.
The two leaders on Friday witnessed the signing of several agreements promoting trade, transport, labor and infrastructure cooperation.
Soon after arriving on Thursday, Moon also met with South Korean coach Park Hang-seo and dozens of players from Vietnam Under 23 football team. Park led his team to runner-up title at the Asian U23 championship in China in January, the country's highest in Asia-wide football competition.
Park and the team were given a rock-star welcome in Hanoi.
Moon also met with the Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong on Friday morning and is scheduled to meet the prime minister and parliament speaker before departing Saturday.