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Conclusion of the Korea-Singapore FTA

Posted November. 30, 2004 14:42,   


The FTA negotiations between Korea and Singapore reached an agreement.

President Roh, who is visiting Laos to attend the 8th ASEAN+3 (Korea, China, Japan) conference, met with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsieng Loong at the International Trade Exhibit & Convention Center (ITECC) in Vientiane yesterday afternoon and announced that the FTA between the two countries was substantially concluded.

Thus, following the FTA with Chile, Korea concluded its second FTA with Singapore.

The FTA between the two countries will be officially signed after the negotiation document is finally decided upon through working-level negotiations, reviewed by the Cabinet council, and then ratified by the president. Subsequently, it is expected that the FTA will become effective around the middle of next year after the ratification process in the National Assembly.

Accordingly, Singapore will virtually repeal all duties on all Korean products, and Korea will not impose duties on Singaporean goods except for a considerable number of sensitive agricultural products and some industrial goods.

In particular, the Singaporean government decided to apply the same preferential tariffs imposed on goods produced in South Korea to goods produced in special economic zones in North Korea including the Gaeseong complex. This is evaluated as setting an important precedent in securing overseas sales of goods produced in the Gaeseong complex and elsewhere.

As President Roh is scheduled to announce the official initiation of the FTA negotiations between Korea and the 10 ASEAN members and their completion by 2006 at the Korea-ASEAN summit today, it seems that Korea will enter the FTA era earnestly.

Korea and Singapore agreed to begin and conclude the FTA negotiations from early this year until the end of this year during President Roh’s visit to Singapore as a national guest in October 2003, and after 10 months of negotiations since the end of this January, they reached a full agreement.

Jung-Hun Kim Jae-Seong Hwang jnghn@donga.com jsonhng@donga.com