Vietnam-RoK bilateral trade scale soars sharply over 30 years

The scale of bilateral trade between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) has increased by 164 times, while bilateral investment has risen by 145 times, since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992, according to a report released by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) on December 19.
A parade at the Vietnamese Culture Festival held in RoK in 2019 (Photo: VNA)
A parade at the Vietnamese Culture Festival held in RoK in 2019 (Photo: VNA)

Vietnam is currently the RoK’s third largest trading partner after China and the US, while the RoK is the largest foreign direct investment country in Vietnam.

KITA pointed out five promising areas of economic cooperation between the two countries, including smart cities, agriculture and livestock, transport infrastructure, energy, and culture and entertainment.

According to KITA, the form of bilateral investment and trade has also changed.

In the initial stage of establishing diplomatic relations, 76.1% of the RoK’s investment capital was concentrated in the textile and garment sector, RoK enterprises are currently expanding their investment in 57 areas such as computers, electronic components, automobiles, finance, insurance, and construction.

Imports of consumer goods from Vietnam, which accounted for 42.2% in 1992, fell to 28.6% this year, while imports of capital goods rose from 0.1% to 25%. The RoK’s brand strength index also ranks first in Vietnam.

The cultural and human exchange between the two countries has made great progress. As of October this year, more than 230,000 Vietnamese people are residing in the RoK, the second largest community after China.

As many as 21 RoK TV series are broadcast on major Vietnamese TV channels in 2022, the second largest after China (34 series).

The report also suggested that the RoK government needs to be prepared, as the growing US-China disagreement and the recent restructuring of the global supply chain may create impacts on Vietnam-RoK relations.