16:31 | 22/06/2015 Trade
Viet Nam is the second largest textile and garment exporter to South Korea, making up one-fourth of South Korea's garment market, after China.
A worker packages t-shirts at NhaBe Corporation in HCM City. Viet Nam exports the second largest amount of textiles and garments to South Korea. — VNA/VNS Photo An Hieu
South Korea imported US$627.4 million in textiles and garments from Viet Nam in the first four months of this year, according to the Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas).
The turnover marks an increase of 8.25 per cent over the same period last year.
The growth is part of a larger trend. After the ASEAN – Korea Free Trade Agreement (AKFTA), Viet Nam's textile and garment industry saw significant growth.
In 2011, the sector's export turnover to South Korea was $900 million. A year later it increased to $1.1 billion and in 2013 it reached $1.6 billion. Last year's total of $2.4 billion was a staggering 27 per cent increase over that of 2013.
The growth should only continue with the recently signed AKFTA. According to its open-access commitment, Vietnamese textile and garment products that satisfy certificate of origin norms will enjoy zero tariffs once the agreement takes effect from January 1, 2016. Currently, Vietnamese firms pay a tax of 8 to 13 per cent.
The FTA would be a considerable opportunity for both countries' enterprises, said Vitas. South Korea is Viet Nam's fourth largest importer of textiles and garments, accounting for more than 10 per cent of the market's export turnover, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade. It is forecast that textile and garment turnover in the South Korean market could reach $16.3 billion for 2015, increasing 11.6 per cent year-on-year.
South Korea currently provides nearly 20 per cent of Viet Nam's textiles and with the large volume of ancillary materials it also exports./.