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Korea Times - 26 October 2021
Korea, Cambodia ink free trade deal for deeper economic ties
South Korea and Cambodia officially signed a free trade agreement (FTA) Tuesday in a move to deepen their economic ties, Seoul’s industry ministry said.
Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo and his Cambodian counterpart, Pan Sorasak, officially signed the pact during a virtual ceremony earlier in the day, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
South Korea struck the deal with Cambodia in February this year and wrapped up domestic procedures, including parliamentary approval.
Under the agreement and the envisioned multilateral trade pact of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Cambodia will lift tariffs on 93.8 percent of all products traded, and South Korea will remove tariffs on 95.6 percent of all items, according to the ministry.
The RCEP is a regional trade pact, which covers 10 ASEAN nations and its five dialogue partners ― South Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. South Korea now awaits parliamentary approval.
South Korea’s major exports to Cambodia include cars, machinery, textiles, and agricultural and marine products. It mostly imports textile-based goods and agricultural products from the Southeast Asian nation.
"The FTA is expected to boost our access to the Mekong River market and to strengthen our value chain, as Cambodia is the hub of the region and bears great economic growth potential," the ministry said in a release.
The latest trade deal is part of Seoul’s ongoing push to expand trade ties with ASEAN and other emerging nations to diversify its trade portfolio and reduce reliance on China and the United States.
ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.