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South Korea ratifies free trade pact with India

South Korea's parliament yesterday ratified a comprehensive economic partnership deal with India, paving the way for closer trade ties.

business Updated: Nov 08, 2009 22:41 IST

South Korea's parliament on Friday ratified a comprehensive economic partnership deal with India, paving the way for closer trade ties.



Seoul's ratification opens the way for eliminating or lowering import duties on goods and services.



The pact could almost double trade volume between the India and South Korea, Asia's third- and fourth-largest economies, reports said.



Bilateral trade is estimated around $15.6 billion anually.



According to estimates by the state-run Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, the deal could boost trade by $3.3 billion. Bilateral trade was up 39 percent in 2008.



The two Asian countries signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in August, following more than three years of negotiations.



The free trade deal, which is set to reduce or eliminate duties on 85 percent of South Korean and 93 percent of Indian goods will enter into force for the South Korean side with the beginning of 2010. On the Indian side, it does not need ratification and enters into force with Seoul's ratification.



Last month, South Korea and the European Union concluded negotiations on a free trade agreement.