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Free Trade Agreement talks with S Korea become urgent

Update: December, 13/2012 - 10:18

HA NOI (VNS)— Negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) between Viet Nam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) should be accelerated to open up opportunities for businesses to enjoy the trade boom, said representatives from both sides.

Participants made the call at a seminar held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) of RoK, and the RoK Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday in Ha Noi.

Deputy Minister of MOFAT, Choi Kyonglim, noted the two countries set a target to raise two-way trade to US$20 billion by 2015 and $30 billion in the next period. To that end, the two sides should devise concrete strategies, he said, adding that the seminar provides a venue for businesses to suggest new co-operation orientations in the coming time.

RoK ambassador to Viet Nam, Ha Chan Ho, stressed that once the FTA is signed, it will pave the way for expanded trade and investment between the two countries.

As Viet Nam's second largest investor, with a total investment of $20.5 billion, RoK is embarking on a number of plans to further invest in the Southeast Asian country, the diplomat added.

Sharing the same view, Koh Kyung Sok, a representative from RoK's FTA negotiation group, said that bilateral trade co-operation will expand in a wide range of fields upon the signing of the deal.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Cam Tu added that the seminar presents an avenue for the two sides' firms to obtain the most up-to-date information on the matter.

Speaking on trade potential, Tu said that two-way trade between Viet Nam and Rok jumped to $18 billion in 2011 from $0.5 billion in 1992. RoK has become Viet Nam 's fourth largest trade partner while Viet Nam is RoK's 8 th biggest export market. The first round of negotiations began in September in Seoul after the two countries agreed to start FTA negotiations on August 6 th, 2012.

On the same day, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh met with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Choi Kyonglim, in Ha Noi. — VNS

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