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Vietnam, South Korea target $100 billion trade by 2023

Vietnam's Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and South Korea's Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Sung Yun-mo. Photo: Baocongthuong

The two countries seek ways to balance trade that records Vietnam’s widening trade deficit over the past years.

Vietnam and South Korea have agreed to boost the two-way trade to US$100 billion by 2023 with three main pillars namely energy, industry and trade.

The target was reached at the 10th Meeting of Vietnam-Korea Joint Committee on Energy, Industry and Trade Cooperation held in Hanoi on December 10-11 co-chaired by Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and South Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Sung Yun-mo.

The two sides discussed measures for commercial balance that records Vietnam’s widening trade deficit for the past years.

In 2019, the two-way trade hit US$69.2 billion, of which Vietnam incurred a trade deficit of US$23.02 billion.

At the meeting, the two ministers agreed with an Action Plan to put forward the trade target set for 2023.

Trade between Vietnam and South Korea. Source: Korea International Trade Association

In terms of energy, the two sides vowed to promote South Korean investment in developing liquefied natural gas (LNG)-to-power plants and renewable energy projects.

Joint efforts in scientific research and energy efficiency were also included in the discussions.

Regarding industry, they reached consensus on advancing technology transfer, improving human resources, and promoting investment and trade, mostly in auto industry, mechanics, electronics, and garment and textile.

The moves will enable Vietnamese businesses to improve productivity and become more engaged in the supply chain in South Korea and globally.

The engagement will also enable them to take advantages brought by the bilateral free trade agreement (VKFTA).

For bilateral trade, measures to boost trade turnover included tackling technical barriers in the import and export activities, creating more room for farm produce, minimizing trade remedies, protecting intellectual property, and developing logistics and distribution systems.

To achieve the targets, the two sides agreed to proceed four key measures, including boosting South Korean investment into Vietnam, facilitating South Korea’s firms operating in Vietnam; supporting Vietnamese exporters of garment and textile, footwear, woodwork, agro-fisheries and processed food to South Korea; enhancing technology transfer in automobile industry, garment and textile, chemicals, mechanics, and spare part manufacturing for better export to South Korea and other countries.

On this occasion, the two leaders also discussed measures relating to customs and certificates of origin, and the building of the Electronic Origin Data Exchange System (EODES).

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