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S Korea, India Continue Talks On FTA Upgrade

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

31 July 2017


South Korea and India are continuing to discuss enhancing their bilateral free trade agreement.

Sub-groups on goods, services, investment, and rules of origin have now been established as part of the ongoing review of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The review is intended to increase bilateral trade and investment flows by boosting the number of goods covered by reduced or no tariffs.

After an earlier round of discussions, the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy said in June 2016 that the percentage of tariffs eliminated or reduced in the current agreement (which entered into force on January 1, 2010) is less than in the free trade agreements subsequently concluded by South Korea with other jurisdictions. The Ministry confirmed that, presently, only about 85 percent of South Korean exports to India (both in terms of the number of items and their value) are tariff free or pay a reduced rate of import duty. With regard to Indian goods exported to South Korea, only 93 percent by number of items (or 90 percent by value) are subject to tariff elimination or reduction.

South Korea is keen to expand the agreement's coverage to include more machinery and steel products, while Indian steelmakers are reluctant to allow further concessions. India is also seeking wider access to Korea for its IT, education, and healthcare industries.

TAGS: tax | investment | India | tariffs | agreements | education | Korea, South | import duty | trade | services | Tax

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