Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) have reiterated their determination to wrap up negotiation on a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) by the end of this year, during the fifth round of talks which took place in Seoul from May 20-23.

The fifth round has seen progress made in the fields of tariff, rule of origin, services, investment, legal issue and institutions, trade defence, sanitary and phytosanitory measures, technical barriers to trade agreement and economic cooperation.

Vietnam asked the RoK to give appropriate consideration to Vietnam’s key export products such as seafood and farm produce while promising to pay attention to the interests of Korean exporters with better conditions compared to the ASEAN-RoK Free Trade Agreement.

The six round of negotiation will be held in mid July in Vietnam.

Bilateral trade between Vietnam and the RoK rocketed to 27.3 billion USD in 2013 from half a billion USD in 1992.

Last year, the RoK was the third largest trade partner of Vietnam, while Vietnam was the sixth biggest importer of RoK goods.

Vietnam mainly exports seafood, garment-textile, footwear, furniture and farm produce while importing machinery, oil and gas, chemicals, and plastic products from the market.-VNA