South Korea and Vietnam will open a fresh round of negotiations this week for a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) as the countries seek to conclude their negotiations, Yonhap quoted the South Korean trade ministry as saying on Sunday.
The ninth round of FTA negotiations will be held in Seoul from Monday through Friday, and the two sides will seek to narrow differences on tariff concessions, service and investment, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said.
The bilateral FTA talks were launched in November 2012. In a 2013 summit, the leaders of the two countries agreed to conclude negotiations for a "comprehensive and high-level FTA" before the end of this year.
South Korea already has a free trade pact with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), to which Vietnam is a member.
Vietnam is South Korea's ninth-largest trading partner with about US$21.09 billion worth of products shipped to the Southeast Asian country in 2013. It is also the world's fourth-largest destination for South Korean investment that attracted some $1.46 billion from South Korea last year, according to the ministry.