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Vietnam now 2nd largest garment exporter to South Korea
22
Jun '15
Vietnam has emerged as the second largest textile and garment exporter to South Korea after China, according to leading Vietnamese newspaper. The report said the country’s exports make up one-fourth of South Korea's garment market.

South Korea imported textiles and garments worth $627.4 million from Vietnam in the first four months of this year, the report said quoting the Vietnam 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), Vietnam'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 report said the growth is expected continue following the signing of 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 Vietnam'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 is the largest foreign investor in Vietnam, with investments of $38.73 billion. (SH)

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