South Korea Ratifies FTA deal with China

By Park Sae-jin Posted : November 30, 2015, 17:31 Updated : November 30, 2015, 17:31

[Courtesy of BlueHouse]

South Korea’s parliament on Monday approved a free trade deal with the country’s biggest trading partner China after months of political squabbling between rival parties.

The ratification of South-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) came after leaders of ruling and opposition parties reached a last-minute deal to create over the next ten years a one-trillion won fund (around $865 million) to help farmers expected to be hit hard by the trade pact.

The FTA deal was signed in June between the two countries, but it has faced tough scrutiny by liberal opposition concerned about the impact of a market opening to China's agricultural and fisheries products.

The deal will eliminate tariffs on $73 billion in South Korea's exports to China and $42 billion of its imports from China.

China is South Korea's largest trading partner. South Korea is China's third largest.

China and South Korea established diplomatic ties in 1992. Their bilateral trade grew 37-fold to $235.4 billion in 2014 from $6.4 billion then, according to South Korean data.

The trade pact is likely to come into effect within this year. .

By Alex Lee
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