The South Korea's trade with Viet Nam hit US$79.43 billion last year, with exports shrinking 12.3 percent to US$53.49 billion, according to the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).
Imports from Viet Nam also dropped 2.9 percent year-on-year to US$25.94 billion, and South Korea's trade surplus dipped 19.5 percent to US$27.55 billion.
Viet Nam outstripped Japan for the second consecutive year in 2023 to retain the third spot, following China and the U.S.
KITA attributed last year's drop in trade with and exports to Viet Nam to falling chip exports. South Korea's semiconductor shipments to Viet Nam tumbled 21.6 percent ỷear-on-year to US$12.73 billion in 2023.
Four other exports-flat panels and sensors, petroleum products, wireless communications equipment, and synthetic resins-also went down last year, according to the data.
South Korea's trade with Viet Nam has been growing exponentially since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1992, when bilateral trade reached only US$500 million.
Bilateral trade volume gained further momentum as South Korea and Viet Nam signed a free trade agreement in 2014.
Viet Nam was the Northeast Asian country's eighth-largest trading partner that year, but its ranking surged to fourth place a year later. In 2022, Viet Nam outpaced Japan and became South Korea's third-largest trading partner for the first time.
Viet Nam and South Korea agreed to raise the two-way trade turnover from about US$100 billion to US$150 billion by 2030 at the 13th meeting of the Viet Nam-Korea Joint Committee for Trade, Industry and Energy Cooperation in Seoul on December 7, 2023./.