The president of South Korea, Mr. Moon Jae-in concluded an official 3-day visit last week, as a part of the Korean “New Souther Policy”, which intends to strengthen South Korea’s relations with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to a level similar with Korea’s relations with the U.S., Japan, China and the EU.
The visit included meetings with Vietnam’s president Mr. Tran Dai Quang and other government leaders. In addition, the Korean president was accompanied by an economic delegation consisting of top executives from Korean leading companies, such as Samsung Electronics, the Huyndai Motor Group, LG Chem and SK Innovation.
Analysts expect that the already strong bilateral relations between the countries will be increased further as a result of the visit.
Vietnam – South Korea relations in numbers
- The trade volume between the two countries in 2017 reached $61.6 billion. This number makes South Korea Vietnam’s second largest trade partner, while Vietnam South Korea’s third largest.
- Between 1988 and 2016, South Korean companies invested more than $50 billion, making the East Asian country the biggest foreign investor to Vietnam. (Only two and a half years ago, total invested capital stood at around $39 billion, showing that Korean companies see great potential in Vietnam). In 2017, South Korea was named Vietnam’s most active investor, leaving behind Japan and Singapore
- In December of 2015, the Vietnam-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (VSKFTA) took effect. With this FTA, the two sides hope to reach $70 billion trade volume by 2020. Due to the importance of this FTA, the Korean Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) had opened the VSKFTA support center, with the main goal to help companies from both countries to understand and take advantage of the bilateral FTA.