In 2017, Vietnam and the Republic of Korea commemorate the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations. The economic relations between Vietnam and Korea have been growing strongly. After 25 years of establishing relations, Korea has become the largest foreign investor in Vietnam among 112 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. By 2016, Korea's exports to Vietnam outpaced Korea's exports to Japan. Vietnamese Ambassador to Korea Pham Huu Chi said: "In 1992, the economic relationship was very small, but by the end of 2016, the trade turnover reached more than US$42 billion. The Korea's investment in Vietnam was US$50 billion. It's a fast development."
Many localities have developed with strong ties with Korea, including Thai Nguyen, which has extensive cooperation with Korean localities and partners in both economic and cultural fields.
In recent years, Thai Nguyen has been active in assisting businesses and investors. The province has created favourable policies and mechanisms to promote efficient operation of enterprises and to maintain and improve Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI). To achieve this result, the whole political system has taken steps to direct and implement drastically and synchronously many solutions, especially tax administrative reform, customs, insurance, construction permit, land, and investment procedures, in order to attract strongly domestic and international investment.
Therefore, the picture attracting investment in Thai Nguyen province has prospered, especially attracting FDI. Currently, Thai Nguyen has 90 FDI projects with more than US$7 billion invested by Korean investors, of which Samsung invested US$6.23 billion, contributing a large proportion to the GDP of the province, creating more jobs for local workers and neighbouring areas. The contribution of Samsung as well as Korean investors has helped Thai Nguyen finish the budget revenue target from the end of the third quarter of 2017.
In addition, in the year 2016, the Vietnam- Korea Friendship Association in Thai Nguyen province (VIKOFAT) and Korea Food for the Hungry International (KFHI), under the support of Samsung Vietnam, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of the Vietnam-Korea Collaboration Centre (VCC). The centre will implement projects to help people in Thai Nguyen province, especially focus on supporting disadvantaged children and creating a learning and development environment suitable for the socio-economic situation of the province. In particular, the centre will play a key role in developing and implementing the project "Samsung Hope School" with the goal of providing comprehensive development activities for children in Thai Nguyen.
Samsung Hope School is built in Go Moc village, Quyet Thang commune, Thai Nguyen City for poor students in the province. The project is part of Samsung's effort to develop the future generation of the province and is one of the gratitude activities for the locality where Samsung is located. Once completed, the project will be the second school in Samsung Hope Schools chain in Vietnam, with the first school in Xuan Hoi commune, Lac Ve (Bac Ninh province) founded by Samsung Electronics Vietnam (SEV).
Thai Nguyen also has a lot of cooperative relations with Korean partners through the twinning programme and cooperation for the socio-economic development.
Thai Nguyen province has a special relationship with Gyeongsangbuk (Korea), whereby the two localities regularly carry out cultural exchanges, learning experiences and cooperation in many fields such as education and training, and new rural construction.
Many non-governmental organisations and companies of Korea are implementing donor projects and sending volunteer delegations to work in Thai Nguyen such as KCCC, CFIE, Shinhan Life, Shinwon Company and KOICA.Throughout the 25 years of cooperative relations between Vietnam and Korea, Thai Nguyen has been building comprehensive cooperation with the Korea. With these milestones, Thai Nguyen province will launch a series of trade and investment promotion programmes as well as promote the twinning programmes with the provinces of Korea to increase the relationship and cooperation between two countries.