The Vietnam Office of the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which caused a stir due to non-payment of special entry fee and the organization of large conglomerates, was suddenly demolished, raising questions.
According to Yonhap News on the 20th, it was confirmed that the office of the Korea Merchant was demolished on the 9th floor of Daeha Business Center opposite the Hanoi Lotte Hotel.
At the site, interior construction is in full swing ahead of the move-in of a new leaseholder.
The Korea Chamber of Commerce has opened and operated an office in Vietnam since 2008 to support Korean companies that have entered Vietnam.
When the Hanoi office of the Korea Chamber of Commerce, one of Korea’s four economic organizations, suddenly disappears, local business officials are puzzled.
Kim Han-yong, chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Vietnam (Kocham), an organization representing Korean companies that have entered the local market, said, “I thought it was strange because there were rumors of a withdrawal,” he said.
The Korean Embassy in Vietnam also became aware of the sudden disappearance of the office of the Korean Chamber of Commerce, a public organization, and began to investigate the background.
The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) conducted a special entry for 4,000 business people after Vietnam blocked the entry of foreigners due to the spread of the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) in March of last year.
However, in the process, the agency fee to be paid to a small Vietnamese company was overdue by hundreds of millions of won, causing controversy.
The agency that suffered damage is a small business with a capital of 600 million won, with commission-based sales of around 1 billion won and only 13 employees.
As it is currently registered as a member of Kocham, not only other member companies but also the Secretariat of Kocham are closely monitoring this issue.
There was also noise in relation to the selection of the special entry quarantine hotel.
The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry included Novotel, which had a low guest capacity, in the list of quarantined hotels in the first half of 2021, when special entry was in progress.
FLC Resort in Quang Ninh Province, the main quarantine hotel, has a total of 649 rooms, but Novotel only has 225 rooms, which caused complaints from customers who could not enter Vietnam on time.
In particular, since 2019, the ‘K-FDI expatriate course’, which consists mainly of large companies that have entered the local market, has been opened and operated, and has been criticized for discriminating between SMEs and indigenous Korean companies.
98% of the 170,000 member companies of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
As the noise continued, the headquarters of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry began an internal audit at the end of March this year, and it was confirmed that the head of the Vietnam office had returned to Korea.
In this regard, the Korean Embassy in Vietnam said that it was aware that the Vietnam office of the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry would be closed.
“When I contacted the office manager who returned to Korea, he told me that the contract had been terminated for the existing office and that the liquidation process was taking a long time,” said Min Mun-ki, a Commerce Officer.
He added, “Currently, a female employee in Vietnam has found a shared office and is only maintaining it,” he added.
In response, the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry announced that it has moved its office to another location and will not close it.
A high-ranking official of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry said, “There was an opinion that the office should be closed due to various problems, but in the end, it was decided to maintain it after a meeting.”
The official also said, “The recruitment process for a successor director is in progress and we plan to issue a personnel appointment as soon as possible.”
However, the location of the newly moved office in Vietnam is not known at all, raising doubts.
Even Commerce Minister Min, dispatched from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the main ministry, said, “I don’t know where the new office is.”
Some member companies are complaining about the sudden closure and relocation of offices, saying that there was no notice at all.
Currently, a total of 9,000 Korean companies have entered Vietnam, and many of them are known as members of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
A member company official said, “I don’t know what happened internally, but if the office that had been in use for more than 10 years was demolished and moved to another place, we should have made a notice,” said an official of the member company. .
Source: 세계일보 by www.segye.com.
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