Vietnam becomes largest trade partner of the RoK

Wednesday, 04/01/2023 19:45
The Republic of Korea (RoK) posted a trade surplus of 34.26 billion USD with Vietnam in 2022, according to the country's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE). This is the first time Vietnam has become the largest trade partner of the RoK.
A yarn production line of KSA Polymer Hanoi JSC invested by the RoK at Thuy Van Industrial Park in Phu Tho province (Photo: VNA)

According to VNA, the ministry reported that the RoK’s export turnover to Vietnam last year totaled 60.98 billion USD, while it spent 26.72 billion USD on importing goods from the Southeast Asian nation.

An official from the ministry said that among the ASEAN countries, Vietnam is emerging as a production base for global companies, adding that Korean businesses are constantly making inroads into the Vietnamese market.

After Vietnam, the countries and territories that the RoK had large trade surplus included the US with 28.04 billion USD, Hong Kong (China) 25.79 billion USD, India 9.98 billion USD, and Singapore 9.86 billion USD.

Last year, the RoK’s export turnover hit a high record of 683.9 billion USD, leaping to the sixth position in the world. However, it also recorded a record high trade deficit of 47.2 billion USD as its imports soared amid rising energy prices.

Vietnamese GDP grows by over US$300 billion to rank 37th globally

Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022 is forecast to reach about US$413.81 billion, thereby ranking 37th in the world, VOV cited the latest projection on the GDP scale for countries globally made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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In line with the latest forecast, the scale of Vietnamese GDP in 2022 moved up four places and represented a rise of  US$45.81 billion compared to 2021.

In fact, Vietnamese GDP in 2001 stood at about US$41.3 billion, ranking 60th out of 200 countries around the globe and reaching some US$368 billion in 2021, ranking 41st.

According to the figures, the size of the country’s GDP increased by US$326.7 billion, jumping 19 notches in the global GDP ranking in the 2001 to 2021 period, representing a nine-fold increase throughout the reviewed period.

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With regard to countries specifically in Southeast Asia, Indonesia’s GDP is anticipated to take the lead within the ASEAN region, reaching about US$1.290 billion, duly ranking 17th in the world, followed by Thailand with US$534.76 billion, ranking second in Southeast Asia and 26th in the world.

Elsewhere, Malaysia is projected to have GDP of about US$434.06 billion, ranking third in Southeast Asia and 35th in the world, followed by Singapore with GDP hitting US$423.63 billion this year.

Vietnamese GDP is therefore predicted to rank fifth in the region this year, ahead of the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Brunei, Laos, and East Timor.

The Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Brunei, Laos, and East Timor are predicted to record GDP of US$401.66 billion, US$59.53 billion, US$28.33 billion, US$18.5 billion, US$16.25 billion, and US$2.5 billion this year, respectively.

Air transport grows 3.7-fold on yearly basis

According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), the aviation market recorded about 55 million passengers in 2022, rising 3.7-fold from the previous year and equivalent to 69.6% of that in the pre-pandemic 2019.

Planes of some Vietnamese airlines (Photo: VNA)

In particular, about 43.2 million passengers were transported domestically, increasing 3.5-fold from 2021 and 15.6% from 2019, while 11 million others internationally, up 22-fold from 2021 and equivalent to 27% of that in 2019, reported VNA.

About 1.25 million tonnes of cargo were transported by air last year, representing 95% of that in 2021 and equivalent to the volume in 2019. It included 152,000 tonnes carried domestically and 1.1 million tonnes internationally, statistics show.

The CAAV noted aviation activities, especially in the domestic market, have recovered since the end of last year’s first quarter. Right in April, the domestic market was comparable to the same period of 2019. Driven by a boom in summer travel demand, it completely recovered and grew by over 30% in July and August compared to the same months of 2019.

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Besides, authorities have actively discussed with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and foreign aviation agencies, including those of Russia, Germany, the UK, Laos, Cambodia, Taiwan (China), Australia, Thailand, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Poland, Romania, and China, so as to reopen international air routes.

Particularly, the Vietnamese side has kept contact with aviation authorities of China and India to increase flight frequency and the destinations available.

However, the recovery of international flights remains slow although Vietnam lifted restrictions on foreign arrivals on March 15 and resumed visa exemption for citizens from 25 countries in May, the CAAV admitted./.