Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) will hold the ninth round of negotiations on their bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) from December 8-12, according to the RoK Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on December 7.

They are seeking to narrow gaps on preferential tariff, services and investment, the ministry said.

Both sides started the FTA talks in October 2012 and their leaders, in 2013, agreed to conclude negotiations on a “comprehensive and high-level FTA” before the end of 2014.

The RoK and the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations, of which Vietnam is a member, has sealed a similar deal.

Vietnam was the RoK’s ninth largest trade partner with two-way trade reaching 21.09 billion USD in 2013.

In the year, Vietnam was the fourth biggest recipient of RoK investments in the world with around 1.46 billion USD.-VNA