VN, S Korea discuss FTA potential

Saturday, Dec 06, 2014 14:13

South Korea is seeking to expand imports of many products from Viet Nam including garments. -- File Photo

HA NOI (Biz Hub)— Representatives of companies from Viet Nam and South Korea reviewed opportunities arising from the impending signing of the Korea-Viet Nam free trade agreement (FTA) at a conference held on December 5.

The Korea Importers Association (KOIMA) and the Ministry of Industry and Trade jointly organised the conference, which witnessed the participation of 50 South Korean import-export companies led by KOIMA, which has a membership of 8,000 companies.

At the conference, Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Do Thang Hai said there was a large untapped potential of trade co-operation between South Korea and Viet Nam, and the conference served as a good chance to boost such co-operation.

According to Le An Hai, Asia-Pacific Market Department deputy director, the FTA negotiations were nearing their conclusion and an official announcement was expected soon.

With the FTA, existing trade barriers will be removed, Hai said, adding that enterprises should know how to take advantage of opportunities arising from the FTA.

Tea Yong Shinn, KOIMA chairman, affirmed that Viet Nam was one of South Korea's important trade partners, and the FTA would open up huge opportunities for the business communities of both countries.

He added that Viet Nam was currently running a trade deficit with South Korea and should enhance export value to improve the trade balance.

According to the Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency, South Korea was seeking to expand imports of many products from Viet Nam, including metals, chemicals, food and pharmaceuticals, as well as interior products, seafood and garments.

Viet Nam could import machines, semiconductors and lubricants, as well as food and health care products from South Korea.

Bilateral trade between the two countries witnessed a rapid rise from less than US$500 million in 1992 to about $27 billion in 2013.

In the first 10 months of 2014, total export and import value reached nearly $24 billion, a five-per cent year-on-year increase, of which Viet Nam exported $6 billion to South Korea.

In October 2011, KOIMA and the Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency signed a memorandum of understanding that aimed to enhance co-operation in trade and investment between the two countries. The two Governments agreed to boost bilateral trade to $70 billion by 2020. — VNS

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