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Vietnam, S.Korea set to strike free trade deal this year

3 October 2014

Vietnam and South Korea will push for a conclusion to a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) this year, leaders of the two countries agreed at a meeting in Seoul Thursday.

During the meeting, Nguyen Phu Trong, Secretary General of Vietnam's Communist Party and South Korean President Park Geun-hye also stressed the importance of boosting economic and trade relations, with a view to increase bilateral trade to US$70 billion by 2020.

Trong arrived in South Korea on Wednesday for a four-day visit that seeks to further strengthen bilateral ties.

Vietnam is South Korea's 9th largest trading partner with two-way trade amounting to US$28.2 billion in 2013.

"I hope that the two countries can further deepen our strategic cooperative partnership by building friendship and trust," Yonhap cited President Park as saying in a summit with Secretary General Trong. Vietnam and South Korea established a strategic cooperative partnership five years ago.

Following their talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of four bilateral cooperation documents on addressing post-war bomb and mine consequences in Vietnam, ensuring national quality of defence products and services, lending for the building of Vam Cong bridge roads, and financial cooperation between Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment and RoK’s Eximbank.

On Wednesday, Vietnam’s private low-cost carrier VietJet Air officially announced it will open more air services from Vietnam to Korea during a ceremony in Seoul at the presence of Trong.

Along with the existing Seoul-Da Nang and Seoul-Hanoi flights, the carrier will open Busan-Hanoi later this year and Ho Chi Minh City-Seoul flights next year.
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