Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Vietnam to strengthen co-operation with South Korea

On Tuesday 8th November, Vietnam's President Truong Tan Sang and his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-Bak agreed to strengthen bilateral ties and co-operation on a number of projects to build atomic power plants in Vietnam.

Sang is on a three day visit to South Korea. The two officials released a joint statement saying the countries were going to strengthen co-operation for peaceful use of atomic power. The statement went on: “The two sides took a special note of South Korea's proposals on developing Vietnam's nuclear power plant based on South Korean technologies, nurturing human resources, transferring technologies and cooperation in other related areas.”

South Korea operates 20 nuclear plants, which generate about 35 per cent of its electricity needs, and plans to build 12 more over the next 14 years. It decided to carry out its nuclear programme as planned despite concerns following the earthquake in Japan on 11th March.

Vietnam continues to face energy shortages and foreign investment companies have expressed concern about the country's instability. As a result, Hanoi has recently intensified its drive to co-operate with nuclear capable countries to help meet its needs.

South Korea and Vietnam have boosted economic and diplomatic relations since they normalised ties in 1992. Last year, the two-way trade totalled $12.9. The two countries have agreed to boost trade to $20 billion before 2015 and further to $30 billion.

Sources: Yonhap, AFP, Korea Times

For more news and expert analysis about Vietnam, please see Vietnam Focus.

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