Cambodia and South Korea on February 3 concluded talks for a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), which Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak and his Korean counterpart Yoo Myung-hee plan to sign in mid-2021, setting zero tariffs for a broad range of goods, according to a joint press statement.
The two ministers signed the agreed minutes on the conclusion of negotiations over the Cambodia-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA) via video link.
The statement said the CKFTA aims to liberalise bilateral trade and further strengthen the economic partnership between the two economies by delivering mutual benefits and welfare for businesspeople and the general public in both countries to ensure their prosperity.
It said the two countries are optimistic that the pact will undergird a swift economic recovery on both sides during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sorasak told reporters at the event that the CKFTA would be the second FTA that Cambodia has made bilaterally with a major trade partner, after the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement, which was inked on October 12.
He said CKFTA would expand market liberalisation beyond the provisions of existing FTAs that involve the two countries, such as the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement (AKFTA) and the recently-signed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
“The CKFTA will provide trade preferences for five per cent of tariff lines over existing agreements,” Sorasak said, without elaborating further.
Under the CKFTA, coupled with the RCEP, the Kingdom will lift tariffs on 93.8 per cent of goods traded, with South Korea scrapping duties on 95.6 per cent, according to Yonhap News Agency.
According to Sorasak, the two sides plan to sign the deal in June. “I believe the agreement will come into force by the end of this year and will ramp up bilateral trade volumes.”