(CPV) - In Hanoi, on August 6, Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) have started negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), to boost economic cooperation and regional integration.
At the meeting, Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade Mr Vu Huy Hoang and Korea’s Minister for Trade of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Mr Park Tae-ho agreed to negotiate the FTA in line with the World Trade Organisation’s regulations and add to previous commitments in the FTA between ASEAN and the RoK, taking into account sensitive areas and the development gap between the two countries.
This is an important movement to realizing policies which agreed by top leaders of the two sides during the official visit of the Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to Korea in March this year under the invitation of President Lee Myung-bak.
According to Minister Hoang, two-way trade rose from 500 million USD from 1992 to nearly 18 billion USD last year. Once the FTA is signed, it will help facilitate trade and investment liberalization between both countries, aiming to raise bilateral trade to 20 billion USD by 2015.
The new FTA will cover trade in commodities and services, investment, economic cooperation regulations and other issues of mutual concern.
The two Ministers also agreed to organize the first round of negotiations to discuss the adjustments and structure as well as methods of the negotiations as soon as possible.
Minister Park Tae-ho believes the two nations will greatly benefit from the FTA, especially in the area of politics, economics and culture.
This country is currently Vietnam's fourth largest trade partner, after China, the US and Japan./.