Korea on June 1, 2015 inked a free trade agreement with China. China is the largest economy in Asia and Korea is the 4th or 5th largest economy in Asia. The agreement requires the approval of the Korean National Assembly to come into effect.
The Korea-China FTA is claimed by the Korean government to allow greater access to Korean exporters of appliances, cosmetics, fashion goods and specialty food products. The agreement may by an, immediate, boon for large Korean exporters.
China is Korea’s largest export destination, however, many of the products heading to China have a final destination outside of China (Europe & the U.S.). The agreement shall remove over 90% of tariffs within 20 years.
It is interesting to note that China has not agreed to reduce tariffs in many key manufacturing sectors (automobiles/LCD) and Korea has not opened its agricultural sector, primarily, because of the fierce opposition by Korean farmers.
We will update the reader on the specific details of the FTA when we delve into it in more detail.
Sean Hayes is co-chair of the Korea Practice Team at IPG Legal. He is the first non-Korean attorney to have worked for the Korean court system (Constitutional Court of Korea) and one of the first non-Koreans to be a regular member of a Korean law faculty. Sean is ranked, for Korea, as one of only two non-Korean lawyers as a Top Attorney by AsiaLaw. Sean profile may be found at: Sean C. Hayes
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