September 13, 2010
Vietnam agriculture, fisheries await South Korean investment
Vietnam's agriculture and fisheries represent enormous potential for South Korean investors seeking business opportunities, said Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) director Do Nhat Hoang on September 8.
Untapped opportunities in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors were awaiting Korean enterprises, Hoang said, noting that Vietnam was offering incentives for investment in these sectors, including reduced land rental fees and assistance in human resources training, transportation and market development.
The percentage of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the nation's agricultural sector has fallen from 8% in 2001 to only 1% last year, Hoang said, with a large share of FDI having shifted towards the services sector in recent years.
More effective measures were needed to boost investment in the agricultural sector, said Tran Thi Mieng, a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Mieng called for more visits by Korean businesses to better explore the potential of this sector, including current production and export status. Exchanges of market information also needed to be fostered, she added. She hoped Korean business associations would support Vietnamese firms in seeking new trade partners and boosting exports.
South Korea is the leading source of foreign investment in Vietnam. Korean investors have launched more than 2,600 projects worth a combined US$23 billion, and such major Korean firms as LG, Posco, Doosan, Samsung and Lotte now have a presence in the country.
Bilateral trade increased from a modest US$28 million in 1992 to US$9.1 billion last year, down from a pre-recession peak of US$10 billion in 2008.
The two countries were trying to boost bilateral trade to US$20 billion by 2015, said the director of the ASEAN-Korea Centre's Development Planning and General Affairs Unit, Jae Hyun Cho.