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Vietnam Today

Vietnam-South Korea trade to hit $100bn by 2020

Released at: 13:49, 22/12/2017

Vietnam-South Korea trade to hit $100bn by 2020


Forecast noted at forum held by VET on December 21 discussing past and future relations between two countries.

by Hai Van

Annual two-way trade between Vietnam and South Korea stands at $60 billion after 25 years of relations and is expected to grow to $100 billion within the next three years, the “Looking Back on 25 years of Vietnam-Korea Economic Relations and Future Prospects” forum held by Vietnam Economic Times on December 21 in Hanoi heard.

South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy put trade turnover at $58.5 billion in the first eleven months of this year, up 43 per cent year-on-year. Since the introduction of the free trade agreement (FTA) in December 2015, bilateral trade has increased steadily and seen Vietnam become South Korea’s fourth-largest trading partner.

South Korea’s exports to Vietnam totaled $43.7 billion in the first eleven months, an increase of 48.4 per cent year-on-year, and were primarily semiconductors, monitors, wireless communications equipment, and electronic components.

Imports from Vietnam totaled $14.8 billion, up 29.2 per cent year-on-year, mostly from wireless communications equipment, clothing, and daily necessities. South Korea’s market share in Vietnam is 22.3 per cent, ranking it second behind China.

Over the last 25 years, the two countries’ relationship has developed in many fields on the back of solid investment and trade relations.

Two-way trade has risen more than 86-fold, from $500 million in 1992 to $43.4 billion in 2016.

H.E. Nguyen Phu Binh, Vietnam’s first ambassador to South Korea, former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Vietnam Economic Times, said that the 25 years since diplomatic relations were established have seen major achievements.

In a 2013 meeting between high-ranking leaders, he added, the two countries set a goal of trade turnover reaching $70 billion by 2020.

“Two-way trade by 2020 is now targeted at $100 billion, State President Tran Dai Quang and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed at the APEC 2017 meeting in Da Nang,” Mr. Binh noted.

South Korea has also invested about $57.5 billion in Vietnam, with 5,700 projects from 6,000 enterprises.

Mr. Binh also noted that the two countries have extensive cooperation in the fields of culture, tourism, and education. Some 2 million South Koreans visited Vietnam this year, while 700,000 Vietnamese travelled to South Korea and 200,000 students and workers living in the country.

Minister-Counselor  of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Vietnam, H.E. Lee Chul, said that while 25 years of diplomatic relations can be considered a relatively short period of time, there have been many achievements.

The relationship has entered the stage of maturity, he added, and the next phase will see more new activities, cementing cooperation between the two countries. He also believes that two-way trade will hit $100 billion by 2020.

Mr. Ryu Hang Ha, President of the South Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Vietnam (Korcham), said that over the 25 years of developing trade and investment relations, Vietnam and South Korea have become increasingly important to each other. Vietnam is an ideal investment destination, a springboard for South Korean investors to seek out ASEAN markets and export cooperation with EU countries.

Vietnam has overtaken Japan as South Korea’s third-largest trading partner in automobiles, components, and machinery.

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