Posted November. 05, 2009 08:02,
A comprehensive economic partnership agreement between Korea and India reached in September will likely take effect in 2011, more than a year behind schedule.
Korean Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon told The Dong-A Ilbo Tuesday, If the (Korean) National Assembly fails to approve the Korea-India (comprehensive economic partnership agreement) by the end of next week, it is likely to take effect Jan. 1, 2011, instead of Jan. 1, 2010.
Kim urged swift ratification of the agreement, saying, If Seoul does not ratify the accord soon, Korea will not gain the upper hand in the Indian market. Rather, we will be overtaken by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, whose free trade agreement with India will take effect soon.
The Korea-India deal is essentially the same as a free trade agreement.
According to the agreement, effectuation could come as early as 60 days after parliamentary ratification by both countries. India has obtained parliamentary approval to have the pact take effect early next year.
The National Assembly in Seoul, however, failed to ratify it by the deadline last month, due to wrangling between the ruling and opposition parties over the confirmation of Chung Un-chan as prime minister.
Kim said, Though a provision that says the agreement can take effect at an additional date set by the two parties can be applied, we must ratify the deal by next week if we want to implement it early next year.
If not, we should give up on implementing the agreement in January next year given the time needed for preparation.
If the deal does not take effect in January next year, India has to wait another year since it adjusts tariffs once a year in January. As implementation is unlikely to happen in January, New Delhi has proposed delaying the time for effectuation to January 2011.
The Korea Institute for International Economic Policy has estimated that tariff elimination between the two countries will increase Koreas GDP 1.3 trillion won (1.1 billion U.S. dollars) and create 48,000 jobs.