Executives from 20 companies based in South Korea’s Gyeongsangbuk-do Province met with nearly 90 Vietnamese counterparts in HCM City on December 1 to discuss business opportunities.

The companies are in sectors like cosmetics; food including soybean paste, soy sauce, dried shiitake mushroom, black garlic, and snacks; beverages; and agricultural produce like rice, fruits, and ginseng.

Speaking at the Viet Nam-Korea B2B Meeting, Hoang Van Anh of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the two countries co-operate in many fields, especially investment and trading.

Korea is Viet Nam’s third largest trading partner and Viet Nam is Korea’s fourth largest, he said.

Their trade was worth over US$45 billion in the first nine months of this year, with Viet Nam having a deficit.

The two have similar agricultural produce, but Vietnamese firms need to learn from their Korean counterparts to improve their production.

“Vietnamese companies should promote technical co-operation with Korean firms in processing farm produce or can work with Korean companies at the event to promote export of their products to Korea.”

Kim Heung Soo, chairman of the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the south and centre of Viet Nam, agreed with Anh, saying Korean firms should not only think of exporting their products to Viet Nam but also consider importing Vietnamese products.

Viet Nam has an abundant supply of farm produce, including many high-value specialities at cheap prices, he said.

Kim ChangYil, a representative of Yeongju city businesses, said Korea has many kinds of farm produce and processed specialities like red ginseng, ginseng, and fruit juices.

These are of high quality and safe and popular in many countries, he said.

With its rapid economic development and rising incomes, Viet Nam has increasing demand for higher quality products, which the Koreans can offer.

The event, part of the Korea-Viet Nam Trade and Culture Exchange Festival being held in HCM City, is expected to further promote bilateral trade, Son In Rak, CEO of Yeoungnam daily newspaper, one of the organisers of the event, said.

The festival, being held from November 30 to December 4, includes activities like a multi-cultural family reunion, an exhibition of Vietnamese and Korean products, a buyers meeting, art performances and a gala dinner.

The event is hosted by Gyeongsangbuk-do Province and Glocal Kim together with the newspaper in collaboration with the VCCI.