South Korea has surpassed the US, the EU, and ASEAN for the first time to become Vietnam’s second-largest trade partner.
According to Vietnam Customs, Vietnam’s total trade turnover was $35.8 billion in June, down 1.4 per cent compared to May, taking the first-half figure to $198.2 billion, up 21.5 per cent year-on-year.
Trade turnover with Vietnam’s ten largest markets stood at $176.09 billion in the first half, accounting for 88.8 per cent of the total.
China remains the country’s largest trade partner, with $39.8 billion, accounting for 20.1 per cent of the total.
Vietnam and South Korea, meanwhile, recorded total trade turnover of $29.12 billion, accounting for 14.7 per cent.
The US followed, with $24.4 billion, accounting for 12.3 per cent, then the EU with $24.01 billion, or 12.1 per cent, and ASEAN with $23.9 billion, or 12 per cent.
Exports by the domestic sector reached $27 billion in the first half and the foreign sector $70.8 billion. Turnover of certain main products continued to increase, with mobile phones and component exports reaching $20.1 billion, an increase of 18.3 per cent year-on-year, and textiles $11.6 billion, up 8.5 per cent.
South Korean investment in Vietnam hit $50 billion overall at the end of 2016, making it the largest foreign investor in the country, according to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA). Capital has been poured into 5,773 projects throughout Vietnam over the last 28 years.
Seventy-one per cent of foreign direct investment (FDI) from South Korea went into the manufacturing and processing sector, followed by real estate with 14.8 per cent and construction 5.4 per cent.
The country invested $4.95 billion in Vietnam during the first half of this year, including new and additional capital.