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Korea

The government of South Korea has concluded, or is pursuing negotiations for, a number of bilateral free trade and investment agreements. Korean social movements have been mobilizing in opposition to these ever since the Korea-Chile FTA was proposed. So far, South Korea has signed deals with Chile (2004), EFTA (2004), Singapore (2005), ASEAN (2007) the US (2007, ratified in 2011), Peru (2011) and Turkey (2012). Talks are under way with Canada, China, Mexico, India, the EU and, technically speaking, Japan. Negotiations with Colombia have stalled over Colombia’s demands for access for better terms for its fruit and flower exports than what Korea gives Chile and Peru. Seoul is also looking to open discussions with Mercosur, Malaysia, Mexico and possibly Israel.

last update: May 2012
Photo: Joe Mabel / CC BY-SA 3.0


Gov’t seeks ’Kaesong provision’ in future FTAs
The South Korean government said that it will seek provisions in future free trade talks that will permit preferential duties for products from the Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea so that they will be treated as if produced in the South.
Analysis: South Korea strives for FTAs
South Korea, which has long remained out of the race for free trade zones, has geared up for high-profile efforts to jump on the free trade bandwagon, which could ensure more benefits to its export-driven economy.
Seoul to start FTA talks with ASEAN in 2005
South Korea will start negotiations next year for a free trade agreement (FTA) with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Roh, Lula agree to launch study into Korea-Mercosur FTA
South Korea and Brazil have agreed to launch a joint feasibility study into signing a Free Trade Agreement between South Korea and the South American common market of Mercosur.
South Korea: Indefinite general strike planned
Korean trade union and social organisations have worked together in recent months to stop the Japan-Korea FTA, arguing that it will result in the abolition of more regulations protecting workers rights, and more privatisation of public services. They also say the average citizens’ access to medical treatment and drugs will also be undermined by the FTA’s excuse to “protect” intellectual property rights.
Protective law demanded ahead of Korea-Japan FTA
Korea’s four major business organizations have urged the government to enact a special law ahead of a free trade agreement (FTA) with Japan in order to protect domestic companies from negative effects of the pact.
South Korea to discuss FTA with EFTA
South Korea will hold a second round of joint studies on a free trade agreement this week in with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which is made up of Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
South Korea seeking trade agreement with Mercosur
South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun will meet with Latin American leaders next months to seeka free trade agreement, local press reported Tuesday.
Simultaneous pursuit of trade pacts more desirable: S. Korean FM
Visiting South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon said on Friday it is "more desirable" to seek free trade agreements (FTAs) with many countries at the same time than to pursue bilateral agreements one at a time.
Korea’s Trade Deficit With Chile Widens
The nation’s trade deficit with Chile widened to $528 million in the five months since a free trade agreement (FTA) took effect on April 1.