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South Korea And Japan To Pursue FTA Talks

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

17 December 2009


South Korea and Japan will shortly resume work on a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) by holding the fourth round of talks since contact on the agreement were resumed in mid-2008.

The two countries launched negotiations on a bilateral FTA in December 2003. They held six rounds of such talks, before the dialogue was broken off after November 2004. It was said that Japan was resisting a lowering of its agricultural and fisheries tariffs, while South Korea was unwilling to open up its automobile industry to further competition.

However, as a resumption of contact on the FTA, South Korea and Japan have now had three rounds of what have been called “working-level” talks since June 2008. The last one was in July 2009. The fourth round is now planned to be held shortly in Seoul, although there are no reported details of what will be discussed.

South Korea currently has trade agreements, of one type or another, with Chile, Singapore, India, the European Free Trade Association, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. It is also looking to complete FTAs with the European Union and the United States, while also seeking trade deals with Canada and Mexico.


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