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S. Korea, Turkey initial FTA in service, investment sectors

Yonhap 2014/09/18

S. Korea, Turkey initial FTA in service, investment sectors

SEJONG, Sept. 18 (Yonhap) — South Korea and Turkey initialed a free trade agreement (FTA) for their investment and service sectors Thursday, which will complement a trade pact for products that went into effect last year.

The new South Korea-Turkey FTA on service and investment will soon undergo reviews by each side after it is translated into their languages, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

"The two countries have agreed to officially sign the agreement in early 2015, and they plan to work for its implementation by undertaking their domestic procedures that include ratification by the countries’ respective legislatures," it said in a press release.

A successful implementation of the FTA in the two sectors will complete the bilateral FTA negotiations that began in April 2010.

The countries had originally sought to hammer out a comprehensive free trade deal covering all sectors, but decided to separate the deal after their negotiations hit a stumbling block over Ankara’s reluctance to liberalize its service and investment markets.

Woo Tae-hee, South Korea’s assistant trade minister and top FTA negotiator, earlier said the Korea-Turkey FTA in the service and investment sectors marked the first of its kind for Turkey, although the Eurasian country has signed 17 other FTAs.

The Korea-Turkey FTA on products went into effect in May 2013 after it was initialed and signed the previous year.

South Korea’s exports to Turkey spiked 33.6 percent on-year to US$6.06 billion in the 12 months following the implementation of the products FTA in 2013, with Turkey’s shipments to South Korea also surging 11.1 percent on-year to $700 million.

The countries’ bilateral trade in the service industry came to about $740 million.

 source: Yonhap