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Trade surplus with 5 FTA signatories more than doubles
제목 없음 South Korea saw its trade surplus with five economic entities with which it has free trade agreements (FTAs) more than double last year as trade volumes with them surged on the back of the deals, a report showed Tuesday.

   According to the report compiled by the trade ministry, South Korea logged a combined trade surplus of US$18.8 billion last year with Chile, Singapore, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

   The figure compares with a meager surplus of $7 billion posted before the free trade accords with the economic entities, the ministry said.

   Trade volume with the five economic entities increased to $154 billion last year from $92.5 billion one year before each FTA with them went into effect, according to the report.

   Last year's trade surplus with the five economic entities accounted for 39 percent of South Korea's trade surplus of $48.4 billion in total, and trade volume with them made up 17.3 percent of the total.

   For one, South Korea posted a trade surplus of $9.1 billion from trade with the ASEAN last year, compared with $2.3 billion in 2006, one year before a bilateral free trade deal came into effect.

   Trade surplus with Singapore also increased to $7.4 billion last year from $2.1 billion in 2005, according to the ministry.

   South Korea, whose economy heavily depends on trade, has been aggressive in forging trade pacts with other nations, highlighted by the sealing of a free trade accord with the European Union (EU) in October last year.

   The free trade pact with the EU came into effect on July 1 after South Korea's National Assembly ratified the deal in May. The European Parliament passed the accord in February.

   In 2007, South Korea signed a free trade agreement with the U.S. Last week, the U.S. Congress ratified the long-pending deal, and Seoul is under mounting pressure to follow suit.

Source: Yonhap News (Oct. 18, 2011)

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