Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnamese retail market is still attractive to businesses from the Republic of Korea (RoK), heard a recent workshop in Hanoi.

General Director of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency Park Chulho said the free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the RoK took effect in 2015 with several tax lines removed.

The FTA between ASEAN and the RoK has also opened up opportunities for the business community, especially Vietnam and the RoK, to realise the two-way trade target of 70 billion USD by 2020, he added.

He cited more than 170,000 Korean people and 5,500 enterprises living and operating in Vietnam, and the RoK is also the third biggest trade partner of Vietnam, after the US and China.

Hong Sun, Secretary General of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Vietnam imported 22.4 billion USD worth of goods from the RoK.

Foreign investors are attracted to the Vietnamese market as they see the country’s potential and rising goods consumption.

Ko Sang Goo, president of the RoK’s K&K trading company, revealed its strategy of bringing Korean products to Vietnam in the coming years.

He said 67 Korean companies will sell products subject to tax reductions under the Vietnam – RoK FTA in the Southeast Asian market at the end of 2016.

This is considered a big campaign to make inroads into one of the largest markets in the region, he added.

Korean lawyer Choi Jiung said that with current policies, there are plenty opportunities for overseas businesses to penetrate Vietnam.

He urged the two sides to optimise the Vietnam – RoK free trade pact for mutual benefits.

Since September 2016, a series of Korean convenience stores opened in Vietnam, a number expected to hit 200 in the next five years.

E-Mart, Korea’s No.1 discount store, signed an agreement to inject 4 trillion VND (17.6 billion USD) into Ho Chi Minh City to build a large-scale retail network.-VNA