Vietnam remains RoK’s third-largest trade partner for the second consecutive year in 2023.

Vietnam continued to maintain its position as the third-largest trading partner of the Republic of Korea (RoK) for the second consecutive year in 2023, as reported by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).


The Republic of Korea (RoK) recorded an export turnover of 53.49 billion USD to Vietnam in 2023, with imports reaching 25.94 billion USD, resulting in a trade surplus of 27.55 billion USD.

Despite a decline in all three indicators compared to 2022, the total trade volume between Vietnam and the RoK in the past year reached 79.43 billion USD, allowing Vietnam to surpass Japan (76.68 billion USD) for the second consecutive year in 2023 and become the RoK’s third-largest trading partner, following China and the United States.

The Korea International Trade Association (KITA) attributed the decline in trade and exports to Vietnam last year to a decrease in semiconductor shipments. In 2023, the RoK’s semiconductor shipments to Vietnam decreased by 21.6% year-on-year to 12.73 billion USD.

This photo is for illustration purposes only. Vietnam remained the third-largest trade partner of the Republic of Korea (RoK) for the second consecutive year in 2023.

According to the report, four additional export categories experienced a decline in 2023, including flat panels and sensors, petroleum products, wireless communications equipment, and synthetic polymers.

The trade relationship between the RoK and Vietnam has witnessed significant growth since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1992, when bilateral trade was only 500 million USD. Bilateral trade volume increased considerably after the signing of a free trade agreement between the RoK and Vietnam in 2014.

Vietnam was the eighth-largest trading partner of the RoK in that year, but rose to the fourth position the following year. In 2022, Vietnam surpassed Japan for the first time, becoming the RoK’s third-largest trading partner.

In 2023, Vietnam and the RoK agreed to boost bilateral trade to 150 billion USD by 2030. The private sectors of both countries have signed 111 memorandums of understanding, and cooperation is expected to expand into new industrial sectors such as supply chain and clean energy, in addition to traditional manufacturing.

Phuong Nguyen