Arirang News, Seoul
Korea, Vietnam Hold 1st Round of FTA Talks
3 September 2012
By Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News.
The first round of free trade agreement talks between Vietnam and Korea kicked off on Monday in Seoul. During the talks that will continue until Tuesday, the two countries will discuss how to proceed with the negotiations.
Seoul’s foreign ministry expects the bilateral trade pact to enhance an existing free trade agreement with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations that took effect in 2007.
Vietnam was Korea’s third-largest trading partner among ASEAN member states last year and the country’s 15th largest trading partner worldwide.
Economists say that Vietnam is likely to benefit more than Korea from the free trade pact once it goes into effect.
They expect Vietnam’s GDP to rise by up to 5.4 percent, and Korea’s to edge up slightly, by just over zero.7 percent.
Vietnam is a fast-emerging country with an economy growing at an annual rate of five to eight percent on average.
Korea’s exports to Vietnam stood at over 13 billion U.S. dollars last year, up 40 percent from a year earlier, and imports surged more than 50 percent to over 5-billion dollars.