Statistics of the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) showed that last year, the RoK exported US$47.7 billion worth of products to Vietnam, accounting for 8.3% of the country’s total outbound shipments. The increase is impressive compared with three years ago when Vietnam-bound shipments accounted for only 3.9% of the RoK’s exports. Vietnam entered the group of the RoK’s top 10 export countries for the first time in 2009 with a total export turnover of US$7.1 billion. In 2015, it ranked third after surpassing Japan. The trade surplus with Vietnam has subsequently increased. After exceeding US$10 billion in 2012, the surplus expanded to US$20 billion in 2016 and to US$31.6 billion last year, the data showed. Meanwhile, the figure for 2017 is more than the US$17.9 billion with the US, KITA data showed. Trade analysts attributed the growth to a bilateral free trade agreement which came into effect from December 2015. Big name companies like Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics have been setting up their production bases in Vietnam, also boosting the trade volume between the two countries.