09:54 | 07/06/2018 Cooperation
(VEN) - Yun Won Sok, Executive Vice President of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), tells Vietnam Economic News’ Nguyen Huong and Nhat Quang that the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (KVFTA) has had positive impacts on bilateral trade and investment, and is expected to boost e-commerce trade between the two countries.
How has bilateral trade, especially Vietnamese exports to the RoK, changed since the KVFTA signed in May 2015 took effect in December 2015?
Since the KVFTA was signed, bilateral trade has more than doubled, from US$30.4 billion in 2014 to US$37.6 billion in 2015 and US$64 billion in 2017. Vietnamese exports to the RoK have also doubled, from US$8 billion in 2014 to US$9.8 billion in 2015 and US$16.2 billion in 2017.
In the past, major Vietnamese exports to the RoK included agricultural and aquatic products, textiles, garments and footwear. Today, electronic products have been added to the export list. In 2017, the export of intermediate goods, commodities and consumer goods to the RoK grew 208 percent, 225 percent and 30 percent, respectively, compared with 2014.
What is KOTRA’s role in providing Vietnamese businesses with tariff information and assisting them in exporting to the RoK?
KOTRA has established two KVFTA support centers, in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, to provide Vietnamese businesses with information about the RoK’s import tariffs and HS (Harmonized System) codes. We are willing to assist businesses at any time. They can also seek further information from the websites of the RoK’s National Tax Service and the two KVFTA support centers.
What do you think of the role of e-commerce in trade relations between Vietnam and the RoK, especially in taking advantage of the KVFTA?
During my visit to Vietnam this time, I visited the Hanoi Trade Corporation (Hapro), one of the major distributors of goods in Vietnam. I know that the online and offline markets in Vietnam are developing rapidly. I think in the future, the KVFTA will create opportunities for the e-commerce market to develop, and Vietnam will adopt economic strategies to turn it into an export industry to boost trade with the RoK.
The agreement includes a separate chapter on e-commerce. I hope it will lay the foundation for e-commerce between the two countries to develop strongly in the future.
Ministry of Industry and Trade data show that in the first four months of 2018, trade between Vietnam and the RoK
reached US$22 billion, a 30 percent increase compared with the same period last year, and is expected to reach
about US$70 billion by year’s end.
Major Vietnamese exports to the RoK include textiles, garments, telephones, electronic components, seafood, timber,
wood products and leather footwear.
The RoK exports to Vietnam machinery, equipment, electronic products and components, materials for textile and
garment production, leather footwear, steel and iron, plastics, transport means and petroleum.