Closer look at 20-plus years of economic cooperation between Korea and Vietnam
This year marks the 21st anniversary since Korea and Vietnam established diplomatic ties and during that period, trade volume between the two nations has risen more than 40-fold.
Last year, bilateral trade volume stood at over 21 billion U.S. dollars making Vietnam Korea's sixth-largest trading partner.
Korea's main exports to Vietnam are mostly production parts for Korean companies that do business in Vietnam, while imports from Vietnam include products like shoes and clothing that Korean companies produce there.
A surprising point here, is that 36 percent of Korea's trade surplus came from Vietnam last year, meaning that a large number of Korean companies are heavily investing in the emerging economy.
Around 27-hundred Korean companies are engaged in more than 3-thousand projects in Vietnam.
Korea's total investment reached nearly 25 billion dollars last year and it stands as Vietnam's fourth-largest investor nation, following Japan, Taiwan and Singapore.
So, for local companies, Vietnam is rising as the next frontier for investment and this is due to the business climate there.
"The Vietnamese domestic market is huge, with a population of more than 92 million. The country also has a good geopolitical location. It's near China and other Southeast Asian countries."
And experts say that Vietnam is politically stable compared to other emerging nations like Indonesia and differentiates itself from South American countries like Brazil in terms of labor force.
"Their labor is quite diligent, and they're so eager to learn something more like Korean people."
Following Monday's summit between Korea and Vietnam, free trade talks between the two countries are expected to speed up, which would build a foundation for even more companies to do business in the market.
Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News.
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