S Korea to take FTA with China as new growth engine

Updated: 2015-02-25 14:55


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SEOUL -- South Korea's trade ministry said Wednesday that the country will use free trade deal with China as new growth engine by making inroads into the world's largest market.

South Korea and China initialed the bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), about three months after the two sides concluded negotiations on it, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The two countries began talks on the deal in May 2012.

The deal, currently written only in English, will be translated into native languages of the two countries before it is officially signed.

The ministry said it will push to officially sign the FTA with China within the first half of this year and implement it as rapidly as possible by getting approval from the parliament.

China is one of the world's fastest-growing economies, whose gross domestic product (GDP) expands more than seven percent each year, the ministry said, noting that South Korea got a chance to make inroads into the fast-growing, large market by initialing the pact.

The deal would serve as a new stimulus and growth engine to the South Korean economy, the ministry said.

Under the pact, South Korea will eliminate tariffs on 79 percent of all products from China within 10 years after the implementation in return for China removing tariffs on 71 percent of all South Korean products.

South Korea will eliminate tariffs on 92 percent of all goods from China within 20 years after the implementation, while China will abolish tariffs on 91 percent of all South Korean products.