9/10/2013

South Korea and Vietnam Negotiate FTA: Korea's Nuclear Exports

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, after making trips to the U.S. and China earlier this year, recently made her third overseas visit to Vietnam.  The two countries are in the process of negotiating a new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that my come into effect as early as 2014.

According to local media sources, the FTA negotiations touched on the usual issues of labor exchange and economic cooperation.  What was of particular interest, however, was South Korea’s bid to export their nuclear reactor technology to Vietnam.  Vietnam is looking to build 10 reactors by 2030, and South Korea is hoping to build, at least, two of the 10.  We wonder whether the recent issues with Korean nuclear reactors will harm the chance of Korea in winning a bid in Vietnam.

South Korea, in the midst of a push to increase exports of its nuclear technology, was also recently awarded a USD 20 billion contract to build four nuclear reactors for the UAE.  The first of those reactors is already under construction.  South Korea’s Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) has declared that it aims to become the world’s third-largest supplier of nuclear reactors by 2030, behind the USA, France and Russia.

South Korea currently fields four nuclear reactors, with six more planned (and five currently under construction).  .

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