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Korea, Turkey sign FTA

Arirang | 2 Aug 2012

Korea, Turkey Sign FTA

Korea and Turkey signed a free trade agreement on Wednesday, as a first step towards expanding bilateral trade between the two countries.

Korean Trade Minister Bark Tae-ho, who is currently on a three-day visit to Turkey, met with his Turkish counterpart Zafer Caglayan in Ankara to ink the deal.

This is the ninth trade pact signed by Korea, and is expected to not only strengthen bilateral ties, but also serve a major role in bridging Korea with other countries.

[Interview : Bark Tae-ho, Korean Trade Minister] "Turkey is geopolitically very important because it connects Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Once the Korea-Turkey FTA comes into effect, Korean companies will invest more in Turkey to take advantage of the strategic significance."

The deal calls for an elimination of tariffs on most of the goods within 10 years from implementation while tariffs on Korean vehicles and auto parts, the country’s key export items to Turkey, will be slashed in seven years and five years, respectively.

Meanwhile, more than 85 percent of Turkish shipments to Korea will be tariff-free once the trade pact comes into effect.

The bilateral trade volume between the two countries reached 5.9 billion U.S. dollars last year, with Korea’s trade surplus continuously rising.

And for Turkey, its goal is to restructure the trade deficit.

[Interview : Zafer Caglayan, Turkish Economy Minister] "The free trade agreement will of course have contribute to the elimination of the problem. But I believe what is important here is that Turkish companies, Turkish exporters need to examine the Korean market."

The latest deal covers agreements on trade in goods, and the two sides will settle on agreements on services and investments by next year.

"What’s left now is for the two countries to complete their domestic procedures, which includes receiving parliamentary approval. And once that’s done, the governments of Korea and Turkey are hoping to bring the free trade agreement into effect by New Year’s Day, 2013.

Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News, Ankara."

AUG 02, 2012

Reporter : [email protected]


 source: Arirang