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South Korea-Vietnam trade surges in 2008   2008-12-17 - Thanh Nien

Bilateral trade between South Korea and Vietnam increased by an estimated 70 percent this year from last year, the mayor of South Korea’s Kwangju City said Monday.


Mayor Kwang Tae Park, who is leading a South Korean business mission to Ho Chi Minh City, said two-way trade last year increased by more than 50 percent year-on-year to top US$6.6 billion, with this year’s annual growth rate expected to reach 70 percent, he said.

In the first 10 months of the year, trading between Vietnam and South Korea amounted to $8.7 billion, he added.

Park attributed the strong trade growth to a free trade pact South Korea signed in 2006 with ASEAN, the 10-member Southeast Asian bloc which includes Vietnam.

Le Quang Lan, deputy director general of the Multilateral Trade Policy Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, told Thanh Nien Daily last week that local businesses had made the most of South Korea’s low tariff regime over the past two years.

However, Vietnam is running a deficit in its trade with South Korea, he said.

Vietnam exported $1.77 billion worth of goods to South Korea but it imported about $6.95 billion worth of goods from the East Asian country in the January to October period.

The deficit is forecast to widen to nearly $6 billion next year, when Vietnam is expected to export about $2.27 billion worth of goods.

Vietnam exported seafood and agricultural products and imported machines, electronic and high-tech products from Korea.

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