|Employees at Thong Thuan Company in central Ninh Thuan Province work on a production line for shrimp exports. Viet Nam's major exports to South Korea include seafood, garments, footwear and furniture. — VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) have reiterated their determination to wrap up negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) by the end of this year.
The fifth round of talks, held in Seoul from May 20 to 23, has seen progress made in the fields of tariff, rule of origin, services and investment. Progress was also seen in legal issues and institutions, trade, defence, and sanitary and phytosanitary measures, as well as technical barriers to the trade agreement and economic cooperation, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Viet Nam asked the RoK to provide appropriate consideration for Viet Nam's key export products, such as seafood and farm produce, while promising to focus on the interests of Korean exporters with better conditions compared to the ASEAN-RoK FTA.
The sixth round of negotiations will be held in mid-July in Viet Nam. Bilateral trade between Viet Nam and the RoK rocketed to US$27.3 billion in 2013 from $500 million in 1992.
Last year, the RoK was the third-largest trade partner of Viet Nam, while Viet Nam was the sixth-largest importer of the RoK's goods.
The major exports of Viet Nam include seafood, garments/textiles, footwear and furniture, as well as farm produce, while the country imports machinery, oil and gas, chemicals and plastic products from the market. — VNS