The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and South Korea, talks for which are scheduled to begin in this quarter, is likely to create a positive impact on the trade relation between the two countries, including a rise in exports of garments from Vietnam to South Korea, according to Mr. Vo Thanh Ha, deputy director of the Asia Pacific Market Department under the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Speaking at a seminar on the Vietnam-South Korea FTA talks, he said South Korea is the fourth largest trade partner of Vietnam whereas Vietnam is the sixth largest export market of South Korea and the two-way trade relation between the two countries had grown sharply from US$ 500 million in 1992 to US$ 21.1 billion in 2012.
He said that currently, around 60,000 people are guest workers in Vietnam and it is the biggest Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) recipient of South Korea.
He informed that in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam, after Japan and Taiwan, South Korea ranks third with over 3,100 projects with a combined investment of about US$ 25 billion.
According to Mr. Le Van Dao, advisor to the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), presently, more than 200 South Korea invested textile and garment firms are operating in Vietnam, which together provide jobs to around 180,000 Vietnamese citizens.
He revealed that South Korea was the fourth largest importer of Vietnamese apparels last year and there was a surge of 11.5 percent in the import of Vietnamese clothing by South Korea compared to the year 2011.
He opined that the FTA with Vietnam shall provide more investment opportunities for South Korea in textiles, dyeing and fashion.