SEOUL, March 20 (Korea Bizwire) — Vietnam is expected to outstrip the United States as South Korea’s second-largest export destination in 2020 thanks to a bilateral free trade deal, a report said Tuesday.
“Bilateral trade is expected to exceed US$100 billion in 2020, making Vietnam the No. 2 destination for South Korean exports after China,” said the report from the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).
Vietnam surpassed Hong Kong and emerged as South Korea’s third-biggest export market in 2017, trailing China and the U.S., up three notches from 2014.
South Korean exports to the Southeast Asian economy have been on the rise over the past decade. South Korean products accounted for 8.5 percent of Vietnam’s import market in 2007, but the ratio hit an all-time high of 22.1 percent last year.
The report attributed the spike in bilateral trade to the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries, which came into effect in December 2015.