In the first 10 months of the year, South Korea's exports to Vietnam surged 11.8 percent from the same period last year, according to the report from the state-run Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).
"It is such an inspiring result considering that Vietnam's overall imports gained only 2.2 percent on-year over the cited period," it said.
The report also noted a sharp rise in shipments of consumer goods following the implementation of the Korea-Vietnam FTA a year ago.
In the January-October period, shipments of consumer goods to Vietnam spiked 14.2 percent, with shipments of washing machines soaring 102.1 percent on-year, apparently helped by the removal of Vietnam's 5 percent import tariff under the bilateral free trade deal, it said.
An earlier report from the trade ministry said the country's exports to Vietnam came to US$26.4 percent in the first 10 months of the year, making Vietnam the world's third-largest importer of South Korean products after China and the United States.
KOTRA said 42 percent of 60 South Korean exporters said their shipments to Vietnam increased following the enactment of the Korea-Vietnam FTA in a recent survey, while 63 percent of those surveyed said they expected the free trade deal to help their businesses in 2017.
South Korea will, in particular, focus on ways to boost bilateral trade and investment, help Korean companies win infrastructure construction projects and make inroads into the financial market there.
ASEAN - Korea Centre General Secretary Kim Young Sun said, given increasingly developed trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, key industries are being given priorities. He added that Vietnam still has a lot of untapped potential, for example, golden-age population, studiousness and capable young people who are not inferior to people from any countries. Recently, international economists called Vietnam the "Asian Dragon".
In addition, Vietnam and South Korea have upheld the fine relations for over 20 years. Bilateral trade between the two came to US$37.6 billion last year, up from a mere $493 million in 1992 when they established diplomatic relations, according to government data. The two enacted a free trade deal last year under which they lowered trade barriers that can bolster commerce. More than 4,400 South Korean companies are doing business in Vietnam and going with Vietnam to the world including Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and other major conglomerates.
In the past time, the two countries deepened cooperation in apparels, footwear and light industries. Currently, Vietnam and South Korea are expanding cooperation to high-valued fields like electronics and information technology, a step to realise the target of US$70 billion of two-way trade revenue in 2020.