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  • Vietnam has leapfrogged Japan to become Korea's fourth largest export market. Data from the Korea International Trade Association and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency shows the southeast Asian country exceeded Japan in the first seven months of this year thanks largely to a surge in shipments of intermediate goods including components for wireless communication equipment. Korean exports to Vietnam amounted to 16.3-5 billion U.S. dollars in the January to July period. Shipments to Japan over the same period were roughly 15-and-a-half billion dollars. Korean exports to Vietnam jumped more than 29 percent in the seven-month term from a year ago. During that period‚ China was Korea's largest export market at more than 79 billion dollars followed by the United States and Hong Kong. Reporter : danc@arirang.co.kr

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  • Korea and Vietnam have initialed their free trade agreement‚ following a series of bilateral trade negotiations completed late last year. Korea's trade ministry said Sunday that the deal was done in Seoul on Saturday. The two countries aim to formally sign the trade pact within the first half of the year and put it into effect before the year is out. Under the deal‚ Korea and Vietnam will remove import tariffs on more than 90 percent of trade items‚ except rice‚ a sensitive item for Korean farmers. The trade ministry expects the deal to help Korea's small and mid-sized businesses -- particularly those in textiles‚ auto parts and electronics -- to expand their exports to Vietnam. Reporter : jiwonpark@arirang.co.kr

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  • By the end of this year‚ Seoul hopes to add three more free trade pacts to its growing list. Presiding over a government policy meeting Thursday‚ Prime Minister Chung Hong-won said the government would press to conclude free trade pacts with China‚ Vietnam and New Zealand over the next two-and-a-half months. Seoul and Hanoi reaffirmed a commitment to seal their deal by the end of 2014 during summit talks in Seoul earlier this month. South Korea and New Zealand will wrap up a ninth round of free trade talks in Seoul later this evening. Korea is inching closer to an agreement with Beijing‚ although differences remain over the terms for industrial goods and agricultural products. Reporter : song@arirang.co.kr

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  • Earlier this week‚ Korea and Vietnam wrapped up their fifth round of bilateral negotiations on an FTA that the two countries seek to conclude by the end of this year. The free trade pact‚ when sealed‚ is expected to boost the already growing trade relations between Seoul and Hanoi. Let's get a quick assessment of business relations and future prospects - our regular contributor‚ Dr. Kim Byoung-joo‚ joins us live on the line from Hanoi. You are in Hanoi‚ chairing Korea-Mekong Business Forum. Why don't give you give us a brief overview of what this gathering is all about. Among the countries in that region‚ we know Vietnam has come quite far in developing its economy through cooperation in Korea. What is the current status of bilateral economic interaction between the two countries? What do you see in Vietnam’s economic future? And‚ what are future prospects for Korea's role or place in the Southeast Asian nation's economic development? Lastly‚ on a current issue - how is the Vietnamese people's anger toward China being managed there? Has the anti-sino sentiment there been more or less settled now? Reporter : jenmoon@arirang.co.kr

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  • This year marks the 21st anniversary since Korea and Vietnam established diplomatic ties and during that period‚ trade volume between the two nations has risen more than 40-fold. Last year‚ bilateral trade volume stood at over 21 billion U.S. dollars making Vietnam Korea's sixth-largest trading partner. Korea's main exports to Vietnam are mostly production parts for Korean companies that do business in Vietnam‚ while imports from Vietnam include products like shoes and clothing that Korean companies produce there. A surprising point here‚ is that 36 percent of Korea's trade surplus came from Vietnam last year‚ meaning that a large number of Korean companies are heavily investing in the emerging economy. Around 27-hundred Korean companies are engaged in more than 3-thousand projects in Vietnam. Korea's total investment reached nearly 25 billion dollars last year and it stands as Vietnam's fourth-largest investor nation‚ following Japan‚ Taiwan and Singapore. So‚ for local companies‚ Vietnam is rising as the next frontier for investment and this is due to the business climate there. "The Vietnamese domestic market is huge‚ with a population of more than 92 million. The country also has a good geopolitical location. It's near China and other Southeast Asian countries." And experts say that Vietnam is politically stable compared to other emerging nations like Indonesia and differentiates itself from South American countries like Brazil in terms of labor force. "Their labor is quite diligent‚ and they're so eager to learn something more like Korean people." Following Monday's summit between Korea and Vietnam‚ free trade talks between the two countries are expected to speed up‚ which would build a foundation for even more companies to do business in the market. Hwang Ji-hye‚ Arirang News. Reporter : emilyfwang@arirang.co.kr

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