South Korea is now Vietnam's largest foreign investor

July's Vietnam-Korea Investment Forum, held in Hanoi, showed that South Korea has become Vietnam’s largest foreign investor.

South Korea currently has 4459 projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of USD 39.16 billion. Indeed, more than 240 South Korean projects occupy the electronics industry alone, with a total registered value of USD 39.16 billion. Furthermore, the manufacturing industry in Vietnam is home to more than 4400 South Korean businesses in footwear and clothes.

The forum saw Deputy Minister Phuong display gratitude to Korean investment, saying that it had greatly contributed to Vietnamese economic growth and overall trade balance.

Vietnam and Korea established diplomatic ties in 1992 and saw bilateral trade value top USD 30 billion in 2014. Both countries agreed to increase trade value to USD 70 billion by 2020.

South Korea too seeks to gain from Vietnamese goodwill. Vietnam is the fourth largest export market to South Korea. And Vietnamese-run businesses generate more than USD 10 million for the South Korean economy.

BDG Insight: This is further evidence of strong ties between both countries. Indeed, goodwill between Vietnam and South Korea go back a long way- South Korea quickly became Vietnam’s third-largest trading partner four short years after diplomatic ties were normalised between the two in 1992. Influxes of South Korean businesses into Vietnam and vice versa are to be expected as fimrs seek to take advantage of the perks coming with the South Korea-Vietnam FTA (Free Trade Agreement) signed earlier in 2015. For instance, Vietnam will completely remove its import duties on 89.9 percent of all products from South Korea, while South Korea will do the same on 95.4 percent of all products imported from Vietnam.

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