Australia Eyes Up Korean FTA

AUSTRALIA - A non-governmental study into the feasibility of a free trade agreement (FTA) between Australia and Korea has concluded that there are big gains to be made on both sides, especially if Korean doors were wide open to agricultural imports.
calendar icon 23 April 2008
clock icon 2 minute read
Meat & Livestock Australia

Meat and Livestock Australia were quick to highlight the news, considering the latest progressions in the beef market between South Korea and the US this came as no surprise. They say that the study clearly shows there is scope for a high-quality Australia-Korea FTA that comprehensively liberalises two-way trade in goods and services as well as investment.

"This joint study is a helpful contribution to discussions with Korea on commencing FTA negotiations, however, is not an official report and the Australian and Korean governments do not necessarily agree with all of its conclusions."

The issue of a FTA between Australia and Korea has gained significant importance since the formalisation last year of a FTA between Korea and the US. Although the Korea/US FTA was signed last April, it is yet to be ratified by either government. Under the proposed Korea/US FTA, the tariff on US beef into Korea will be reduced from 40% to zero over 15 years. The Australian beef industry would like to see similar reductions in duty as afforded US product in the KORUS agreement.

Officials from Australia and Korea will meet in Seoul today (Tuesday 22 April) to discuss the report and discuss next steps towards an agreement.

The joint non-government report finds that an Australia-Korea FTA could boost Australia’s GDP by up to US$22.7 billion and Korea’s GDP by up to US$29.6 billion, in the period 2007-2020.

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