ROK signs bilateral FTAs with Cambodia, Philippines

Tuesday, 2021-10-26 19:17:39
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At the signing ceremony of the RoK-Cambodia FTA (Photo: Yonhap/VNA)
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NDO/VNA – The Republic of Korea (RoK) has officially signed its bilateral free trade agreements with Cambodia and the Philippines in a move to deepen their economic ties.

Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo and his Cambodian counterpart, Pan Sorasak, officially signed the pact during a virtual ceremony on October 26, according to the ROK’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The ROK 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% of all products traded, and the RoK will remove tariffs on 95.6% of all items, according to the ministry.

The ROK’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 same day, Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo and his Filipino counterpart, Ramon Lopez, declared the conclusion of the nations’ bilateral Free Trade Agreement and signed their joint statement during a virtual meeting.

The two sides began negotiations in June 2019 and held five rounds of official talks before reaching the agreement. It is the ROK's fifth bilateral free trade deal with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries, after Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Cambodia.

Under the deal, the Philippines will lift tariffs on 96.5% of all products traded, and the ROK will remove tariffs on 94.8% of all items, according to the ministry.