South Korea, Canada wrap up free-trade deal

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South Korea and Canada concluded a free-trade agreement Tuesday, wrapping up a negotiating process that began nine years ago and focused on barriers in the auto and agriculture sectors.

The South’s trade ministry said the FTA would be signed as early as June after legal reviews by both sides.

Talks between the two countries began in 2005 but suffered a five-year hiatus as Canada took South Korean restrictions on beef imports to a World Trade Organisation panel in 2009.

The trade ministry said South Korea’s auto industry would be the greatest beneficiary of the deal, which is the first FTA Canada has signed with an Asian country.

Canada is the world’s fifth-largest market for South Korean cars. Last year, South Korea shipped US$2.23 billion worth of vehicles to Canada and imported US$92 million worth of Canadian cars and parts.

South Korea agreed to completely remove its 8.0 per cent import tariff on Canadian cars and parts after the FTA takes effect.

Canada will reduce 6.1 per cent tariffs on South Korean cars and parts to four per cent within 24 months.

Canada will also remove most of its import tariffs on clothing and textile products, which now stand at a maximum of 18 per cent, within two years.

The two countries will completely remove tariffs on 97.5 per cent of products within 10 years from the day of implementation.

However, 19 per cent of farm products including rice, cheese and dry milk will be either exempt from the deal or receive a grace period of more than 10 years, higher than the deals South Korea has already forged with the United States and the European Union.

South Korea regards rice and beef as the most sensitive items.

Source : Channel News Asia | March 11, 2014

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Thomas D’Innocenzi is a highly accomplished, results-focused international consultant with extensive experience in global sourcing and business development worldwide to meet evolving business needs. Tom has proven ability in implementing and managing profitable global marketing and sourcing operations. He has extensive experience in international business development to accommodate rapid growth. Skilled in building top-performing teams, bench-marking performance, and developing organizations to improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Experienced transition leader and change agent. Tom founded Nova Advisors with the mission of providing expert Global Business Development consulting services for companies seeking to expand their market share as an independent consultant. Tom has a network of experts and advisors throughout the Asia-Pacific region and North America. His expertise includes business development, global sourcing, manufacturing, commodities, logistics, QA/QC, FDA, regulatory compliance, sustainability, and supply chain optimization. Tom is experienced in the medical device, apparel, consumer goods and technology services verticals helping companies advance their global sourcing capabilities and develop new markets through a local and sustained approach. Located in SE Asia and the United States, Tom expands market reach to drive sales. His global sourcing strategy includes directly negotiating with commodity suppliers, supply chain networks and distributors for optimal terms based on his expertise and first-hand knowledge of the players. Contact Tom to use his consulting service to increase your global market and make global sourcing profitable for you in the Asia Pacific Region and the United States. USA Direct: +1.904.479.3600 SINGAPORE: +65.6818.6396 THAILAND: +662.207.9269
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