Some tariffs cut in Vietnam FTA
In return, Korea will remove tariffs on Vietnamese clothing and agricultural products, an allowance that is expected to benefit apparel makers with factories in Vietnam.
Korean Trade Minister Yoon Sang-jick signed the agreement with his Vietnamese counterpart, Vu Huy Hoang, on Tuesday in Hanoi in the presence of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
“The Korea-Vietnam FTA will expand investment by Korean companies in Vietnam and help the economic development of Vietnam, as well as increase bilateral trade between the two countries,” Yoon was quoted by Korea’s Trade Ministry as saying after the signing. “It will become a representative case of a winning trade deal to benefit both parties.”
The Korea-Vietnam FTA is the 15th such pact Korea has signed so far.
The Korean Trade Ministry added that the deal with Vietnam was the first upgraded version of the Korea-Asean FTA signed by Korea and the 10 member states of Asean.
It was enacted in 2007 and seen as a way to make more commodities accessible and stimulate trade between Korea and those nations.
Under the deal, Vietnam will gradually eradicate tariffs on certain major import products from Korea that were formerly protected under the Korea-Asean FTA, according to the Trade Ministry.
In addition, Korean cosmetics, popular among foreign tourists for their high quality and low cost, will see tariffs cut 10 to 25 percent in Vietnam, the Trade Ministry said. Automobiles will see tariffs lifted by up to 25 percent in 15 years.
In return, Korea will remove tariffs imposed on 235 products that were not included in the Korea-Asean FTA within the next decade, the Trade Ministry said.
The ministry said the tariffs on textiles and apparel manufactured in Vietnam will be reduced by 8 to 13 percent.
Still, many textile and apparel products made in the country are actually manufactured by the factories of the Korean companies based there, the Trade Ministry said.
Vietnamese farmers will benefit from the agreement, which will remove tariffs on 48 agricultural products, including mangos, pineapples and adzuki beans in five to 15 years.
However, rice was still protected at the negotiations, the ministry said, and was completely excluded from the products considered for tariff reductions.
BY KIM HEE-JIN [firstname.lastname@example.org]