SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea and Australia held a summit and signed a free trade agreement in Seoul today. Following their talks in Seoul, President Park Geun-hye and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott attended the signing ceremony between the trade ministers.
The countries concluded their negotiations at the end of last year and will now each pursue legislative ratification.
Once the FTA goes into effect, South Korea and Australia will eliminate import tariffs on most of their products within ten and five years respectively.
Australia will immediately eliminate its tariff – around five percent – on South Korea’s main export items. The deal was concluded after seven rounds of negotiations since 2009.
The two countries also adopted a joint statement committing themselves to greater security and defense cooperation to cope with regional and global security challenges. Under the ‘Vision Statement on a Secure, Peaceful and Prosperous Future,’ the two sides also urged North Korea to give up all its nuclear programs and abide by its denuclearization commitments.
Source: Busan eFM News