Pres. Park calls for support, easing of regulations for Korean firms in Vietnam
Hanoi may be the "political capital" of Vietnam, but Ho Chi Minh City is the economic center.
President Park on Tuesday flew over to the nation's economic capital and held talks with the city's party committee secretary Le Thanh Hai and Mayor Le Hoang Quan.
"I believe that the enhancement in the two countries' cooperation in the economic sector greatly contributes to the livelihoods of the people in the two nations."
President Park called for further support for Korean companies operating in Vietnam, asked city officials to ease regulations for employment of foreign workers and construction and to provide tax incentives for businesses that invest in the country again.
Later in the day,.. President Park toured the biggest Korean company operating in Ho Chi Minh City, called Hansae.
"I saw an example of how Korean companies could increase their competitiveness by globalizing their production line and enhancing their technology."
Hansae is an apparel firm that makes products for global fashion brands like GAP, Nike and Uniqlo through original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, deals.
Senior presidential secretary for economic affairs Cho Won-dong told reporters that President Park's trip to the city aimed to address one of Vietnam's most urgent economic issues: the imbalance in its bilateral trade with Korea, as imports far exceed exports.
Her visit to the company, Cho added, will serve to encourage Korean firms to invest in Vietnam, and export products made there to other countries, as a way to solve the imbalance in bilateral trade.
President Park also met with leaders of Korean businesses operating in that city, including Lotte Mart, Hyosung and CJ, and listened to the difficulties they face in doing business in Vietnam.
"Many observers say President Park's sales diplomacy, added with her soft diplomacy, in Vietnam led to a number of tangible results in the economic sector. After wrapping up her five-day stay in Vietnam, President Park will be returning to Seoul on Wednesday.
Eoh Jin-joo, Arirang News, Hanoi."
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