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Embrace China-S. Korea FTA era

Editor: Tong Xinxin 丨CCTV.com

12-03-2015 15:29 BJT

By Zhang Dongming, Director, Institute of Northeast Asian Studies, Liaoning University, Visiting Scholar, Stanford University
 
South Korea's Parliament on Nov.30 ratified its free trade agreement (FTA) with China - 196 affirmative votes, 33 negative votes and 36 abstention votes. On the same day, the Parliament in Seoul also voted in favor of FTA proposals with Vietnam and New Zealand, however the trade scales between S. Korea and the other countries cannot parallel its trade volume with China. 
 

1

Since Beijing and Seoul announced the initiation of FTA negotiations on May 2, 2012, the first round of negotiations was held in Beijing on May 14 the same year. After 14 rounds in the past thirty months, Chinese President Xi Jinping and S. Korean President Park Geun-hye on Nov.10, 2014 jointly announced the two countries had reached an agreement.

Both parties initialed the agreement on Feb. 25, 2015 and signed it on June 1 by Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng and his South Korean counterpart Yoon Sang-jick. 

China-S. Korea FTA, the largest for China in terms of trade volume and the areas it covers, laid a foundation for Beijing to promote foreign trade and economic cooperation strategy with other nations.  The FTA is the most substantial policy outcome for Park Geun-hye. The South Korean government had demonstrated their positive attitude.

Before leaving Seoul to participate in the 2015 United Nations 
climate change conference in Paris, Park urged lawmakers to ratify the deal soon.  After ratification in Seoul, Beijing is likely to approve the agreement. Theoretically, the FTA does not go into effect until the end of 2015.  Seoul has 20 days for it to go into effect in 2015. Accordingly, tariffs will be reduced.

At the beginning of 2016, more tariffs will decrease, and we can expect zero tariffs to be realized in one year. The economic and trade relationship has beefed up the "FTA era" as a pivotal pillar in the strategic partnership between Beijing and Seoul.

 

( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

 

 

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

 

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