Vietnam was the third largest export market of the Republic of Korea (RoK) in the first quarter of this year after China and the US, according to the Institute for International Trade at the RoK International Trade Association.

The Institute released a report on May 6, saying in the review period, the RoK’s exports to Vietnam reached 6.58 billion USD, a rise of 18.3 percent year on year.

Meanwhile, the country’s imports from Vietnam were 2.03 billion USD, up 17.3 percent over the same period last year, raising total two-way trade to 8.61 billion USD, an increase of 18.1 percent.

As the free trade agreement between the RoK and Vietnam was signed and expected to become effective this year, the RoK’s exports to Vietnam in the future is likely to further expand, predicted the report.

According to Park Ji-eun, a researcher at the Institute, a high level of market opening supported by effective FTA would raise the RoK’s exports to Vietnam remarkably and turn Vietnam into one of the RoK’s leading export markets.-VNA