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May 20, 2021 10:50 am

South Korea Becomes First Asian Country to Sign Free Trade Agreement With Israel

avatar by i24 News

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and South Korean President Moon Jae-in meet at the Blue House in Seoul, July 15, 2019. Photo: Kobi Gideon / GPO.

i24 News – Israel and South Korea signed a free trade agreement (FTA) earlier this week, which is expected to increase trade between the countries to more than $3 billion, reported the Jerusalem Post.

South Korea — which has the 11th-largest economy in the world — is the first Asian country to sign such a deal with the Jewish state.

Economy Minister Amir Peretz and his South Korean counterpart, Trade Minister Ms. Yoo Myung-Hee signed the agreement in Seoul.

Under the agreement, Israel will increase exports to South Korea and exempt from customs duties vehicles and spare parts, electrical products, and air conditioning systems imported into Israel, according to the Post.

The countries will enjoy reciprocal tariff reductions on most products imported and exported, along with improved trade in services. With regard to exports, Israeli industry is also expected to receive a boost with the encouragement of activity within the Korean market.

Israel’s exports to South Korea totaled approximately $890 million in 2020, while imported goods — largely cars and electrical items — were some $1.5 billion.

The two sides will also sign an agreement to double the budget of KORIL-RDF, a joint research and innovation fund for Israeli and South Korean companies.

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