India and South Korea on Friday signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement that would enable duty free trade in goods and services between the two countries and help double bilateral trade to $20 billion.
Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and South Korean Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon signed the agreement in Seoul. This is India's second comprehensive deal with any country after Singapore.
"Under the agreement, tariffs will be reduced or eliminated on 93 per cent of Korea's tariff lines and 85 per cent of India's tariff lines," an official statement said.
The CEPA would come into force after it is ratified by the Korean National Assembly and the notifications to bring it into effect are made by the two countries.
It would facilitate trade in services through additional commitments made by both the countries to ease movement of independent professional and contractual suppliers.
Both countries have committed to provide national treatment and protect each others investments to give a boost to bilateral investments in all sectors except those specifically exempted from the pact, it added.
The CEPA negotiations had started in March 2006 and were concluded in September 2008. The Cabinet had approved the pact last month. In 2007-08, bilateral trade was $10.12 billion and industry chamber FICCI expects trade to double after CEPA.