Vietnam-Korea FTA Support Centre opens hinh anh 1At the opening ceremony of the Korea-Vietnam FTA Support Centre. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) inaugurated the Korea-Vietnam FTA Support Centre in Hanoi on March 2 in an effort to help companies from both sides take full advantages of the bilateral free trade agreement.

The FTA between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (VKFTA) came into effect on December 20 last year. It covers different matters from reduction or elimination of customs duties; rules of origin; customs administration and trade facilitation; to sanitary and phytosanitary measures; technical barriers to trade; competition; intellectual property and transparency.

The centre aims to provide enterprises with not only accurate information on the VKFTA but also support those who face difficulties particularly in terms of non-tariff trade barriers and certificate of origin granting.

According to Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai, the VKFTA has offered more opportunities in cooperation and investment between the two nations.

Trade between the two countries has expanded at an average growth of 23 percent annually over the past decade. Last year, the two-way trade hit 34.3 billion USD, up 29 percent from 2014, making the RoK one of Vietnam’s three largest trade partners.

The RoK mostly shipped to Vietnam computers, electronics and components, machinery and fabrics while Vietnam’s exports to the RoK include textile & garment, crude oil, seafood, wood and timber products.

Kim Jae Hong, KOTRA President said the centre would help companies from the two nations apply the VKFTA with flexibility and bolster their exports to China, the US and the EU.

The same day, the KOTRA and the Vietnam Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality inked a Memorandum of Understanding to simplify administration procedures that Korean companies have to go through when exporting to Vietnam. The Korean side also agreed to transfer technology in safety evaluation to Vietnam.-VNA