Vietnam Customs statistics indicate Vietnam increased its Korean imports 33.3% to an estimated US$20.7 billion, 15.7% of the country’s total import value.
The import value of computers and electronics and spare parts alone was US$5.1 billion, up 54.7% compared to 2012’s figure.
Half of Vietnam’s 2013 Korean import value came from machines, garment accessories, and telephones and associated spare parts.
Vietnamese exporters earned US$6.6 billion from the RoK market, an 18.9% rise and equivalent to 24.3% of the country’s total export earnings.
Major export commodities spanned garments and textiles (US$1.6 billion, up 53.5%), crude oil (US$724 million, down 9.3%), and seafood (US$512 million).
The quantity and scope of the two countries’ trade ties have benefited from Vietnam’s admission to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the signing of ASEAN-RoK Free Trade Agreement (AKFTA).
Vietnam has sustained an import surplus with the RoK for many consecutive years. The 2009 trade deficit of US$4.9 billion grew to US$14.1 billion last year.
Many Vietnamese businesses, and especially importers, are eager to invest in or explore emerging opportunities on the Korean market.
About 9,800 local businesses began importing goods from the RoK in 2012. Another 1,100 businesses had joined their ranks by the end of 2013.