Vietnam and South Korea wrapped up their fifth round of bilateral negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Friday; the two countries seek to conclude their negotiations by the end of this year.
During the four-day conference in Seoul, the two countries held in-depth discussions on a wide range of topics, including tariffs, investment, customs, sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS), technical barriers to trade ( TBT) and cooperation.
The Vietnamese delegation also joined attended group discussions on competition, e-commerce and intellectual property.
Vietnam proposed that South Korea give appropriate consideration to its key export products such as seafood and farm produce while promising to offer Korean exporters better conditions than the ASEAN-South Korea FTA.
The two sides said they were determined to conclude their FTA talks by the end of this year.
The sixth round of negotiations will be held in mid-July in Vietnam.
The Vietnam-South Korea bilateral FTA talks began in August 2012. During a 2013 summit, the leaders of the two countries agreed to conclude negotiations for a "comprehensive and high-level FTA" before the end of this year.
Two-way trade between Vietnam and South Korea rocketed to more than US$27 billion last year from just half a billion in 1992.
Last year, South Korea became Vietnam’s third largest trade partner and Vietnam became the sixth biggest importer of South Korean goods.
Vietnam’s main exports to South Korea include seafood, textiles and garments, footwear, wood furniture and farm produce while main import items were machines and equipment, apparel and footwear materials, oil and gas, steel, chemicals, and plastic products.
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