[Bài nghiên cứu] Regional Inter-dependence and Vietnam-Korea Economic Relationship

Trung tâm Nghiên cứu Quốc tế (SCIS) giới thiệu bài phân tích chính sách của nhóm học giả Việt Nam về sự phụ thuộc liên khu vực và mối quan hệ kinh tế Việt Nam - Hàn Quốc. Bài viết được đăng lần đầu trên website của Viện Chính sách Kinh tế Quốc tế Hàn Quốc (KIEP). TS. Trương Minh Huy Vũ (Giám đốc SCIS) cũng tham gia viết một phần trong bài phân tích này. 

 


 

 

Introduction 


Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (Korea) have enjoyed a very fruitful bilateral relationship for the last two decades since they established the official diplomatic relationship in 1992. The relations between the two countries were upgraded to “comprehensive partnership” in 2001, and then to “strategic partnership” in 2009. In 2014, Korea had 505 new projects and 179 expanded projects with a total investment of USD 7.32 billion which accounts for 36.2% total FDI inflow in Vietnam. Recently, Korea has become the biggest foreign investor in Vietnam (USD 19 billion, accumulatively by the end of 2015). Meanwhile, Vietnam is Korea’s third biggest export market (after China and the US). Total trade between the two countries increased from USD 4.9 billion in 1992 to USD 36 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach USD 70 billion in 2020.


In 2015 the two countries signed a bilateral Vietnam-Korea Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA) which sets a new stage for bilateral economic cooperation. VKFTA covers various aspects, not only tariff elimination and trade facilitation but also commitments on investment, intellectual property rights, e-commerce, competition and transparency. Together with Korea’s free trade agreement with ASEAN (AKFTA), VKFTA will bring about great growth opportunities for both countries in the coming years. It is expected to further boost the bilateral relations, especially in trade and investment.


Inter-dependence among regional countries is an emerging issue in the literature in economics. The term itself reflects the specialization of each country and covers both economic and geopolitical dimension. In purely economic sense, the change in dependency reflects the change in the advantages of each country. It also implies that the change in bilateral trade/investment will affect and be affected by the trade/investment interactions of other partners. On the other hand, the term reflects the concern of governments that economic reliance may lead to political reliance and vice versa. In other words, any move or bilateral commitments in terms of trade and investment between any pairs of countries in a region will influence the trade/investment pattern of other pairs of countries; and the geopolitical factor should not be ignored when analyzing international trade and investment.


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