South Korea, Vietnam eye $70 billion in trade by 2020

By Dam Tuan   October 26, 2016 | 03:39 pm GMT+7

A free trade agreement which came into effect late last year is expected to be a key driver for growth in bilateral trade.

South Korea and Vietnam, which have seen their trade value surge nearly three times over the past five years, are aiming to raise the number to $70 billion by 2020.

The target was announced less than a year after a free trade pact between the two countries came into effect.

At a recent meeting with the press in Seoul, the ASEAN-Korea Center's Secretary General Kim Young-sun said he is confident that the target will be achieved.

Thanks to the new trade agreement, products from the countries have been enjoying low tariffs.

In the first eight months this year, South Korea was the fourth biggest market for Vietnamese goods, mostly seafood and apparel and agricultural products.

Vietnam also imported a lot of products from the East Asian country, with purchases including appliances and cosmetics ranking second only after goods from China in terms of value.

Even before the pact, the value of bilateral trade had been growing at a fast pace, nearly tripling from $12.8 billion in 2010 up to $36.55 billion last year.

High-tech exports from South Korean companies such as LG and Samsung now account for a large part of shipments from Vietnam.

The ASEAN-Korea Center was established in 2009 with the main functions of promoting economic, cultural and social exchange activities between South Korea and member countries of the Southeast Asian bloc.

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