Consumers watch Samsung products in a shop in Seoul (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– Exports of the Republic of Korea (RoK) to Vietnam increased impressively in 2017, making its trade surplus with the Southeast Asian country surpassing that with the United States.

Statistics of the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) showed that last year, the RoK exported 47.7 billion USD worth of products to Vietnam, accounting for 8.3 percent of the country’s total outbound shipments.

The increase is impressive compared with three years ago when Vietnam-bound shipments accounted for only 3.9 percent of the RoK’s exports.

Vietnam entered the group of the RoK's top 10 export countries for the first time in 2009 with a total export turnover of 7.1 billion USD. In 2015, it ranked third after surpassing Japan.

The trade surplus with Vietnam has subsequently increased. After exceeding 10 billion USD in 2012, the surplus expanded to 20 billion USD in 2016 and to 31.6 billion USD last year, the data showed. Meanwhile, the figure for 2017 is more than the 17.9 billion USD with the US, KITA data showed.

Trade analysts attributed the growth to a bilateral free trade agreement which came into effect from December 2015. Big name companies like Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics have been setting up their production bases in Vietnam, also boosting the trade volume between the two countries.-VNA