Việt Nam: South Korea's third largest trade partner in 2023

Thursday, Feb 08, 2024 11:15

Shipping containers seen at Cái Mep Port in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province. Two-way trade between Việt Nam and South Korea hit $79.43 billion in 2023. — VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Đạt

Việt Nam remained South Korea's third-largest trade partner for the second straight year in 2023 despite a drop in both imports and exports from the Southeast Asian country, according to the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).

Two-way trade reached US$79.43 billion last year, with Vietnamese exports shrinking 12.3 per cent year-on-year to $53.49 billion.

At the same time, imports from Việt Nam also dropped 2.9 per cent on-year to $25.94 billion, and South Korea's trade surplus shrank 19.5 per cent to $27.55 billion.

Việt Nam surpassed Japan for the second consecutive year in 2023 to retain the third position, following China with $267.66 billion and the US with $186.96 billion.

KITA blamed last year's drop in trade with and exports to Việt Nam on falling chip exports. South Korean semiconductor shipments to Việt Nam tumbled 21.6 per cent on-year to $12.73 billion in 2023.

Four other export items – flat panels and sensors, petroleum products, wireless communications equipment and synthetic resins – also went down last year, according to the data.

Bilateral trade between Việt Nam and South Korea has been growing exponentially since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1992 when trade hit only $500 million.

The trade volume gained further momentum as the two nations signed a free trade agreement in 2014.

Việt Nam was the RoK’s eighth-largest trading partner that year, but its ranking surged to fourth place a year later. In 2022, Việt Nam outpaced Japan to become South Korea’s third-largest trading partner for the first time. — VNS

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