Seoul (VNA) – Export turnover of the Republic of Korea (RoK) to the ten member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) hit 74.52 billion USD in 2016, compared to 32.1 billion USD in 2006, according to data released by the country’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on May 31.

The result was attributed to increasing commerce and investment since a free trade deal between both sides took effect in 2007, Yonhap news agency reported.

The country’s exports to ASEAN countries have grown an average 7.5 percent annually during the last decade while its overall exports increased only 3.3 percent per year in the period.

RoK imports from ASEAN countries also increased 3.3 percent per year over the last ten years to reach 44.32 billion USD in 2016.

Total trade between the RoK and ASEAN rose 5.7 percent every year to 118.84 billion USD last year.

Investment by RoK firms in Southeast Asian countries amounted to 6.4 billion USD in 2016, up from 3.7 billion USD in 2006, while ASEAN members poured 2.5 billion USD into the RoK last year, surging from 703 million USD in 2006.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said ASEAN became the RoK’s second largest trade partner in the last ten years, adding that both sides are making efforts to expand market openness and tariff cuts.-VNA