return icon

Vietnamese favor for Korean goods raises worry about trade deficit

 VietNamNet Bridge – South Korean goods, following the South Korean culture, have been flocking to Vietnam. Experts have warned that the “South Korean wave” would make the trade deficit more serious.

VietNamNet Bridge – South Korean goods, following the South Korean culture, have been flocking to Vietnam. Experts have warned that the “South Korean wave” would make the trade deficit more serious.


The Korean style on Vietnamese market

It is now very easy to buy South Korean goods in Hanoi. The imports from South Korea have been available not only at the shops on big streets, but also at supermarkets or shopping malls. A wide range of products can be found there, from delicacy to households products.

Vietnamese now favor South Korean goods, which are much better in quality than Chinese, and not as expensive as Japanese.

Hundreds of product items, from footwear, cosmetics, sweets, instant noodle to washing liquid, drinks and umbrella, are available at a shop on Pham Ngoc Thach Street in Dong Da district, though it covers a small area of 20 square meters only.

Nguyen Ngoc Anh, a loyal customer of the shop, said she favors South Korean goods, especially cosmetics. “In the past, I asked my relatives in Korea to buy cosmetics and send to Vietnam to me. However, I don’t have to ask for their help any more, because South Korean goods are available everywhere,” she said.

Nguyen Thi Nam in Cau Giay district said 70 percent of the household goods at her home are made in South Korea.

The owner of a South Korean goods shop said at first, the shop mostly received South Korean people living and working in Vietnam. However, the majority of buyers now are Vietnamese.

Having had five shops in Hanoi so far, she plans to open more retail points in Hanoi.

“The market is large enough because the Vietnamese income and living standard have improved. South Korean goods have become affordable to more Vietnamese,” she noted. “Meanwhile, a lot of South Korean industrial products are suitable to Vietnamese, from cosmetics to food, from machines to household appliances.

“You may know that South Korean blankets, sheets, pillows, cushions, clothing, cosmetics can be sold in rural areas as well,” she added.

The danger from trade deficit

A report from the Ministry of Industry and Trade showed that the two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and South Korea has increased by 42 times over the last 10 years, from $0.5 billion in 1992 to $21 billion in 2012.

In the first 10 months of 2013 alone, the figure reached $23 billion, a sharp increase of 32 percent over the same period of the last year.

South Korea is now the fourth biggest trade partner of Vietnam, while Vietnam is the sixth biggest export market for South Korea.

While Vietnam exports $5.5 billion worth of products just to South Korea, it imports $15.5 billion from the country. As such, Vietnam’s excess of imports over exports in the trade with South Korea is $10 billion and the trade deficit ratio is 179 percent.

The figure was higher at 216 percent in the first 10 months of 2013.

The trade deficit with South Korea is lower in value in comparison with that with China, but higher in ratio (the figures were $19.7 billion and 186 percent in the first 10 months of the year).

Duy Anh – Bao Han


10-year-old translator brings scientific knowledge closer to young readers

Children’s history book series, Unstoppable Us, by best-selling author Yuval Noah Harari, has been translated from English into Vietnamese by a 10-year-old translator and published by Omega Plus.

Floods kill five in central region

Heavy downpours and floods in the central region in the past few days claimed the lives of five people as of 5pm on December 6.


Vietnam spends nearly 190 million USD on importing pork in ten months

Vinfast faces challenges in North America

North America is a promising market, but it is not easy to be successful because there are many rivals there.

Festivities celebrate holiday season in HCM City

HCM City is preparing to launch a series of festivities to celebrate the New Year and Tet holidays (Lunar New Year).

Young driver offers thousands of free rides for poor patients

Dang Xuan Hieu, 24, has for four years given free trips to thousands of poor patients in Ha Giang Province.

Policies take effect in December 2022

Below are among new policies on import and export nomenclature, electricity generation price bracket, and licenses to manufacture tobacco products taking effect from December.

Finance Ministry to raise taxes on land and housing

Taxes on land and housing in Vietnam are far lower than those in other countries, exposing the need for higher tax rates to improve fiscal revenues.

Vietnam, RoK enter new chapter of cooperation

Vietnam and the Republic of Korea have entered a new chapter in their relationship as they upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership during President Nguyen Xuan Phuc's official visit to the country.

Free piano class for the elderly in HCM City

A piano class has been run free-of-charge for elderly people in Ho Chi Minh City for the past five years.

Business safety in the digital age

Vietnamese businesses are facing challenges related to cyber security and difficulties adapting to digital transformation.

Tax refunds worth trillions of VND

Tax bodies are working on problems related to VAT refunds in order to help businesses get money to invest in operations, following a dialogue held last week.

Legal loopholes exist for trading forbidden goods

Many students believe that e-cigarettes are not toxic, but are fragrant and stylish.

Quang Ninh to develop night-time economy, awaken tourism

On July 27, 2010, the Prime Minister signed a decision approving Vietnam’s night-time economy development plan.