China-South Korea competition grows in Vietnam

A Vietnamese delegation’s visit to China last week has underscored increasingly close economic ties between the territorial rivals, which analysts say is posing a challenge to the dominance of South Korean investment in Vietnam.

Vietnam’s National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue led the high-level delegation from April 7 to 12 and met with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Hue proposed the two countries create a new push for trade development and “connect Vietnam to China’s large development strategies.”

He also met with the heads of many large Chinese companies that want to participate in Vietnam’s infrastructure construction.

China is Vietnam’s largest trade partner and on the way to becoming its biggest foreign direct investor.

A representative of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, or KCCI, in Vietnam last week told Nikkei Asia that Chinese companies are pushing back South Korean firms as China steps up investment in Vietnam.

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Peh Hong Lim