Korea starts procedures to negotiate FTA with Vietnam

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Korea starts procedures to negotiate FTA with Vietnam

Korea will complete its domestic procedures to start free trade talks with Vietnam to strengthen economic ties with the fast-growing market, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said yesterday.

Korea and Vietnam finalized a joint study on the feasibility of a free trade agreement in October last year.

“Based on the results of the joint study, we are taking domestic procedures in order to launch negotiations on an FTA with Vietnam,” the ministry said in a press release.

Korea already has an FTA on merchandise with the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations that took effect in 2010. Similar deals on services and investments also came into effect.

Vietnam is a member of Asean, but Korea wants to seal bilateral FTAs with some specific Southeast Asian countries.

Vietnam’s economy is growing at an annual rate of 5 to 8 percent on average.

Korea’s exports to Vietnam stood at $13.6 billion last year, an eight-fold rise from a decade ago, according to the ministry.

Through governmental negotiation channels, the two will also seek expanding cooperation in power plant construction and other areas. Korea will also support its companies wishing to invest in the Southeast Asian country, the ministry added.

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