Seoul, - A trade between South Korea and Vietnam gained 17% in the first 10 months of the year, the government here said Wednesday, about one year after a bilateral free trade deal between the two nations came into force.

The trade deal between Korea and Vietnam went into force on Dec. 20 last year after years of negotiations.

In the first 10 months of the year, Korea's exports to Vietnam climbed 13% on year to US$26.4 billion, while imports from Vietnam rose 28% to $10.4 billion, according to data by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. For the 10-month period, bilateral trade between Korea and Vietnam rose 17% to $36.8 billion.

The rise in bilateral trade was in contrast to an 8% decline in South Korea's trade with the global economy.

Joo Hyung-hwan, minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, held a meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart, Tran Tuan Anh, in Seoul earlier in the day.

During the meeting, Joo urged his Vietnamese counterpart to make joint efforts to eliminate non-tariff barriers to further promote trade between the two nations, Joo's ministry said in a statement.

"Vietnam is one of the most trusted and cooperative partners and the economic cooperation between the two nations has developed into a relationship of co-existence," Joo said in the statement.

Source: Qatar News Agency