The free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) became effective on December 20, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT)’s press release on December 19.
The ministry said the FTA will contribute to boosting trade and investment cooperation between the two countries.
The two sides will establish a ministerial level joint committee and subcommittees on goods trade, customs, trade defence, sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and technical barriers to trade (TBT) to accelerate the implementation of the agreement.
Bilateral trade between Vietnam and the RoK has increased 57 folds over the past decades, from 500,000 million USD in 1992 to 28.8 billion USD in 2014.
In 2014, the RoK is the third largest trade partner of Vietnam, after China and the US, while Vietnam is the RoK’s sixth largest export market. Two-way trade value recorded an increase of 5.7 percent from 2013, with Vietnam’s export to the RoK posting at 7.1 billion USD, up 7.9 percent, and its import at 21.7 billion USD, up 5 percent.
According to the General Department of Customs, in the first 11 months of this year, bilateral trade hit 33.6 billion USD, a year-on-year rise of 27.6 percent. The figure is estimated at 33.6 billion USD this year, up 27.2 percent from last year.
According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, as of October 20 this year, the RoK is the biggest among 105 nations and territories investing in Vietnam, with 4,777 projects worth 43.6 billion USD in total.
The RoK projects are mainly poured into industrial processing and manufacturing, real estate, retail and wholesale, and construction, with total investment exceeding 5 billion USD.
There are nearly 3,000 RoK enterprises operating in Vietnam. They create jobs for more than 400,000 labourers.