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Israel signs free trade agreement with South Korea

CM 20/05/2021

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Israel signed a free trade agreement with South Korea this week that is expected to increase trade between the countries to over $3 billion.
That makes South Korea, which has the 11th largest economy in the world, the first Asian country to sign a free trade agreement with Israel. The agreement was signed in Seoul by Economy Minister Amir Peretz and his South Korean counterpart, the Minister for Trade, Ms. Yoo Myung-Hee.
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.
When the agreement goes into effect in a few months, there will be reciprocal tariff reductions on most products, imported and exported, along with improved trade in services, investments and standards. On the export side, the agreement is expected to give Israeli industry a competitive advantage and encourage activity in the Korean market, strengthening Israeli exports and increasing economic growth. On the import side, the agreement will help reduce the cost of living in Israel by importing South Korean products to Israel.
Exports of goods and services from Israel to South Korea in 2020 amounted to about $890 million, while imports of South Korea’s goods and services that year totaled more than $1.5 billion. The free trade agreement is expected to increase the volume of trade between the countries even more, and save Israeli consumers about NIS 500 million per year.
“South Korea is one of the world’s leading economies and an important trading partner for the State of Israel,” Peretz said. “The volume of Israeli exports to South Korea has increased in recent years, and the ministry expects the trade agreement to strengthen Israeli exports to Korea and trade between countries. Israel is currently negotiating trade agreements with other countries including China, Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union [Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Belarus].”

During the visit, an agreement was also signed for the renewal and doubling of the KORIL-RDF R&D Fund, managed and led by the Israeli Innovation Authority, which supports research and development collaboration between companies from Israel and Korea.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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