Tourism-culture cooperation, a bright spot of Vietnam-RoK relations: PM

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh highlighted the strong development of tourism and cultural cooperation between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK).

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh speaks at the forum. (Photo: VNA)

He called it a bright spot of the bilateral ties while addressing a conference in Seoul on July 1 as part of his official visit to the Northeast Asian nation.

He said following the establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership in 2022, the Vietnam-RoK relationship is at its best ever, noting their political trust and good cooperation foundation in culture have given momentum to tourism collaboration and people-to-people exchange.

Both Vietnam and the RoK are home to world heritage, with the former, eight, and the latter, 16, he continued, stressing the growing economic-trade-investment ties have also played a role in boosting the tourism and culture links.

The PM said the two sides have opened new air routes, offered new tourism products, and organized many cultural festivals, art programs, and tourism promotion campaigns.

Chinh briefed the participants on Vietnam’s major tasks and solutions to ensure the effective, sustainable development of its tourism industry, and turn it into an economic spreadhead sector, making Vietnam enter the list of 30 countries with the best tourism competitiveness.

The leader stressed that from August 15, 2023, Vietnam has extended the stay duration for Korean tourists to 45 days from 15 days, and e-visa is valid for up to 90 days.

Chinh expressed his hope that the two countries will work on specific, practical cooperation programs to advance the tourism ties to a new level, matching the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership.

For culture, the PM said it has created a firm, extensive foundation for the comprehensive strategic partnership, and lauded cooperation outcomes between the two ministries of culture, sports, and tourism.

Mentioning cultural industries, he said the RoK’s experience in this field would be valuable for Vietnam whose cultural and entertainment industries are at the initial steps, and suggested the RoK help the Southeast Asian nation in the building of relevant institutions and policies, infrastructure, personnel training, administration, and resources mobilization.

For Vietnam’s orientations in this sphere, Chinh said Vietnam aims to provide creative, unique, professional, healthy, competitive and sustainable products, and the country is building a strategy for cultural industries by 2030 with a vision towards 2045.

Vietnam wishes to receive support and cooperation from the RoK in devising and materializing such strategies and policies to spur cultural industries in the time ahead, as well as in building a center of Vietnamese culture in the country, he said.

On this occasion, PM Chinh witnessed the exchange of 10 memoranda of understanding on culture, trade and tourism cooperation between agencies and businesses of the two countries, including one between the Vietnam National Authority of Tourism and the Korea Tourism Organisation, and four between the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines and its partners.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism also handed over a decision on the re-appointment of Ly Xuong Can (Lee Chang-kun), a descendant of the Vietnamese Ly Royal family, as Vietnam’s tourism ambassador to the RoK.

After the Covid-19 pandemic, the RoK has emerged as the biggest source of tourists to Vietnam. In the first five months of this year, Vietnam welcomed nearly 2.2 million Korean visitors. For every 10 international tourists in the Southeast Asian nation, there are three Koreans.

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