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Korea and Turkey have signed a tentative free trade agreement (FTA) after two years of negotiations. The countries agreed on a basic FTA framework that addresses trade of goods.
Considering the possible FTA implications on the agricultural and fishery industries, Korea included several exceptional provisions in the agreement to minimize such impacts. For example, 795 sensitive agricultural products, including rice, beef, hot peppers, garlic, onions and apples, will retain the current tariff rate, while tariffs on other Korean food exports will be gradually phased out or eliminated over the next 10 years.
However, tariffs on 162 agricultural products and 32 fishery products whose imports are inevitable and have limited impact on Korean farmers will be immediately eliminated. Korea's major exports, including instant coffee and cigarettes, and such potential exports as Kimchi and instant noodles will also become non-tariff items.
To prohibit imports and exports via a third country, a provision concerning the origin of products stipulates that fresh agricultural products must be grown and harvested in both countries. But both parties agreed to ease regulations on Korea's high-potential processed products, including sugar cookies and hot chocolate powder, to include them in the preferential tariff items though they are made of materials imported from a third country.
The agreement will go into effect in the first half of the year.