Vietnam’s export value to the Republic of Korea (RoK) over the first 10 months of 2013 reached 5.49 billion USD, up 25 percent year-on-year. The figure is expected to increase to 7 billion USD by the end of the year, the Vietnam Economic Times has reported.

A fleet of 50 RoK firms came to Ho Chi Minh City on November 22 and will visit Hanoi later this week in a bid to further boost the two-way trade between Vietnam and the RoK.

According to the Deputy Director of the Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry Bui Thi Thanh An, the RoK has become one of the largest and most important trade partners of Vietnam.

Last year, two-way trade between Vietnam and the RoK stood at 21.12 billion USD. Of this amount, Vietnam raked in 5.58 billion USD from exports to the RoK while its import value reached 15.54 billion USD.

Vietnam mainly imports computers, electronic products, machines and devices, garments and plastic materials, while shipping crude oil, coal, aquatic products, and woodwork and garment-textile products to the RoK.

Garment and textiles play a key role in bilateral trade ties, with total export value of 1.35 billion USD over the first 10 months of 2013, an increase of 49 percent year-on-year.

In comparison to 1992, two-way trade between Vietnam and RoK in 2012 rocketed 42 times, already surpassing the set target for 2019, according to RoK Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Oh Jae Hack.

This is a significant growth, he said, adding that two-way trade in the same period between RoK and ASEAN and China increased by only 7 fold and 30 fold respectively.

The positive figure not only demonstrates the important role and position of Vietnam in the RoK’s import-export plans, but also shows the huge potential for Vietnamese goods entering the RoK market.

Vietnam and the RoK hope to lift two-way trade to around 70 billion USD by 2020.-VNA