Vietnam Retains Position as South Korea’s Third-Largest Trading Partner in 2023SK Telecom Reports 20.9 Percent Increase in Net Profit for 2023

SEOUL—Vietnam held its position as South Korea's third-largest trading partner for the second consecutive year in 2023, despite a slowdown in both exports to and imports from the Southeast Asian country, as revealed by data released on Monday. The annual trade volume between the two nations amounted to US$79.43 billion, marking a decline in South Korea's exports by 12.3 percent to $53.49 billion and a 2.9 percent decrease in imports from Vietnam to $25.94 billion. Consequently, South Korea's trade surplus with Vietnam contracted by 19.5 percent to $27.55 billion.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the downturn in the trade figures can primarily be attributed to a significant drop in semiconductor exports, which fell by 21.6 percent to $12.73 billion. Additionally, declines were observed in four other export categories, including flat panels and sensors, petroleum products, wireless communications equipment, and synthetic resins. Despite these challenges, Vietnam managed to surpass Japan for the second year running, securing the third spot in South Korea's global trading hierarchy. Meanwhile, trade with Japan reached $76.68 billion, with China and the United States continuing to dominate the first and second positions with trade volumes of $267.66 billion and $186.96 billion, respectively.

The bilateral trade relationship between South Korea and Vietnam has witnessed exponential growth since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1992, starting from a modest $500 million to the current billions. The signing of a free trade agreement in 2014 further accelerated this growth, propelling Vietnam from being South Korea's eighth-largest trading partner to its third-largest in a relatively short period. This enduring partnership underscores the dynamic economic interactions and strategic importance of the relationship between the two countries.

SEOUL—SK Telecom Co. announced a 20.9 percent increase in its net profit for the year 2023, reaching 1.15 trillion won ($859.2 million), as per a regulatory filing on Monday. The company also reported an operating profit of 1.75 trillion won for the year, an improvement from the 1.61 trillion won recorded in the previous year. Additionally, SK Telecom's sales witnessed a modest rise of 1.8 percent to 17.6 trillion won.

According to Yonhap News Agency, this financial growth underscores the company's ability to navigate the complexities of the telecommunications market successfully. The increase in profits and sales reflects the company's ongoing efforts to enhance its service offerings and invest in new technologies, positioning itself strongly in the competitive market.

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