RoK President welcomes FTA with Vietnam

The President of the Republic of Korea (RoK) welcomed the parliament’s ratification of free trade agreements (FTAs) with Vietnam, China and New Zealand on November 30, the Presidential office said in a statement released the same day.

The President’s spokesperson Jeong Yeon-guk also expressed hope that the country’s legislature will accelerate following measures to ensure the FTAs become effective within this year. 

The FTA between Vietnam and the RoK was signed in Hanoi in May 2015. 

Under the agreement, Vietnam will remove import tariffs on 89.9% of goods hailing from the RoK within 15 years since the pact’s enforcement. Meanwhile, the RoK will eliminate import tariffs on 95.4% of imported Vietnamese products. 

The RoK is committed to reducing tariff lines to create more opportunities for Vietnam’s staple agro-fishery exports such as shrimp, fish and fruits, along with industrial products like textile and garments, wood and mechanical products. 

Meanwhile, the Southeast Asian country will cut down on most of tariff lines on apparel materials, footwear, leather, engine, automobile components and spare parts, plastic materials, and machinery imported from the RoK. 

The FTA comprises 17 chapters, 208 articles, 15 appendices and one agreement on regulation implementation. It covers trade in goods, trade in services, investment, intellectual property, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, rules of origin, customs facilitation, trade remedies, competition, economic cooperation, and institutional and legal matters. 

Trade between the countries have thrived in recent years, shooting up from US$500 million in 1992 to over US$26 billion in 2014 – an annual pace of some 20%. 

The RoK is currently the fifth largest export market of Vietnam and second largest buyer of Vietnamese goods.