According to JETRO's assessment, Vietnam stands as an enticing destination for foreign investments, ranking third globally and second in the Asian region.

As of May 2023, South Korea emerges as a leading partner with 9,666 projects and nearly 81.6 billion USD, constituting 18.2% of the total investment capital. Over the first nine months of 2023, South Korea has registered over 2.5 billion USD in investment capital with more than 300 newly approved projects in Vietnam. In recent years, the number of South Korean investors, organizations, and local entities exploring the investment environment and policies has been on the rise, particularly due to the strategic, forward-thinking approach adopted by Tuyen Quang province in investment engagement.

Over the past 30 years, since the two countries established diplomatic relations in December 1992, robust development in economic and trade cooperation between the two nations has propelled bilateral trade turnover to 78.7 billion USD in 2022, marking a 175-fold increase. South Korea stands as the second-largest foreign direct investor (FDI) in Vietnam, with a total registered investment capital of 77.4 billion USD. Amongst those, the manufacturing and production sector remains a pivotal area of South Korean investment in Vietnam, providing employment for approximately 800,000 Vietnamese workers across 9,000 South Korean enterprises investing in Vietnam.

In Tuyen Quang province, there are currently 7 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects by South Korean investors, constituting 35% of the investment structure, with a total registered investment capital of 35,988,813 USD (equivalent to 840,341 million Vietnamese dong), accounting for 11% of the total registered investment capital. South Korean FDI projects in the province include:

(1) Seshin Apparel VN2 export-oriented garment factory with registered capital of 8,188,813 USD (equivalent to 182,283 million VND).

(2) MSA export-oriented clothing production factory with registered capital of 12,100,000 USD (equivalent to 262,243 million VND).

(3) Lotte Cinema Tuyen Quang by Lotte Cinema Vietnam with registered capital of 2,800,000 USD (equivalent to 63,420 million VND).

(4) Sung Lim PP packaging production factory with registered capital of 1,000,000 USD (equivalent to 23,000 million VND).

(5) Bae, Su-Ho PE plastic tarpaulin fabric production factory with registered capital of 4,500,000 USD (equivalent to 138,435 million VND).

(6) JOYOUNG IND. CORP., LTD tarpaulin fabric production factory with registered capital of 3,400,000 USD (equivalent to 79,220 million VND).

(7) JW agricultural production and processing facility with a total investment of 4,000,000 USD (equivalent to 91,740 million VND).

Beyond FDI projects, South Korea is also one of the major sponsors of FNGO projects in Tuyen Quang province. In general, FNGO projects have played a significant role in the economic and social development, poverty reduction, livelihood improvement, human resource development, and social welfare enhancement of the local population. These projects span various domains, such as education and training, which have contributed to enhancing knowledge and skills among teachers and students, assisting students in difficult circumstances, and establishing learning and accommodation facilities for students. Healthcare-related projects have helped improve community health, raise awareness about environmental improvement, and foster agricultural and rural development, leading to better livelihoods and increased income for poor households and people with disabilities.

In recent years in Tuyen Quang province, non-official development assistance projects funded by South Korea have made a substantial impact on the local economic and social development. Notable organizations involved in these projects include: Good Neighbor International (GNI) and World Vision International (WVI). In 2022, Tuyen Quang province hosted 19 foreign sponsors and non-governmental organizations implementing 27 programs, projects, and non-project aid, with a total disbursement value of 2 million USD (a 12% increase compared to the same period in 2021). By contrast, in 2021, there were 20 foreign sponsors and non-governmental organizations implementing 32 programs, projects, and non-project aid in Tuyen Quang province, with a total committed assistance value of over 2 million USD and a disbursement value of 1.8 million USD. Notably, South Korea's Good Neighbor International sponsored two projects, namely the Rural Development Support Project in disadvantaged areas of Son Duong district, Tuyen Quang province (2019–2023) and the Construction of Classrooms at Dong Loi Secondary School, Dong Loi Commune, Son Duong District (2022–2023). These two projects have a total committed sponsorship value exceeding 558,000 USD.

In parallel with FDI and non-governmental organization projects, South Korean partners have also sponsored Tuyen Quang province in the realm of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to foster the economic and social development of the province. The Rural Region Development Program in Tuyen Quang province, utilizing non-reimbursable ODA funds from the South Korean government through KOICA, has been implemented from 2019 to 2023 in 17 impoverished communes across 6 districts within the province. The program aims to support comprehensive, sustainable development aligned with the objectives of building new rural areas, sustainable poverty reduction, and improving the quality of life for the residents of Tuyen Quang province, Vietnam. The project boasts a total investment of over 413 billion Vietnamese dong, with 337.5 billion VND provided as non-reimbursable support from KOICA, and the remainder being counterpart funding from the local budget.

These figures offer a comprehensive overview of South Korean investment and support in Tuyen Quang province. South Korea's investment in Tuyen Quang has significantly contributed to advancing the economic and social development in this mountainous region, while fostering a mutually beneficial development relationship between Vietnam and South Korea to a new height.


Nguyen Thanh Hieu

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