The Republic of Korea (RoK)'s exports to Vietnam enjoyed a year-on-year surge of nearly 50 percent in the first seven months of 2017. (Photo: VNA)

Seoul (VNA) – The Republic of Korea (RoK)’s exports to Vietnam enjoyed a year-on-year surge of nearly 50 percent in the first seven months of 2017, making the Southeast Asian country the third biggest importer of RoK goods.

According to the RoK’s customs data released on August 23, the country’s export turnover to Vietnam during the January-July period reached 26.95 billion USD, a 49.8 percent increase from the same time last year.

The figure turned Vietnam into the third biggest importer of RoK products, just behind China and the US, which respectively bought 79.25 billion USD and 39.66 billion USD worth of goods from the RoK.

The RoK’s exports to Vietnam have been growing sharply since 2010, mainly due to local firms moving their production facilities to Vietnam. There is a significant increase in the shipments of raw materials and semi-finished products to Vietnam while imports of finished goods from Vietnam are also rising.

Growing industrial demand in Vietnam as well as the implementation of a free trade agreement between the two countries are other reasons behind the surge in the RoK’s exports to the country.

Vietnam has been steadily climbing up the ladder of the RoK’s export destinations, up from 21st in 2000 to 13th in 2007 and fourth in 2015. This year, it replaced Hong Kong to stand at third.-VNA