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Exports of petrochemical goods, textiles and steel products are likely to increase if a bilateral free trade pact with Turkey goes into effect, a report said Friday.
Earlier this week, South Korea and Turkey signed a free trade accord, paving the way for South Korean firms to tap deeper into the Eurasian nation. The two countries aim to implement the trade pact early next year after completing domestic procedures in each side.
According to the report by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), petrochemicals, automobiles, electronics and machinery goods are expected to benefit the most from the free trade pact as tariffs levied on them would be immediately or gradually abolished.
Under the agreement, a tariff on South Korean textile goods, currently staying at 8 percent, will be abolished in five years after the deal takes effect.
All tariffs on automobiles will be removed in seven years after the implementation of the accord.
According to the report, a survey of Turkey's 70 importers showed about half of
them say they will increase their purchases of South Korean products once the
Korea-Turkey free trade pact is enforced as tariff cuts will make South Korean
goods cheaper than others.
Last year, South Korea exported goods worth US$5.1 billion to Turkey and imported goods worth $800 million. In 2010, their bilateral trade reached $4.27 billion.
Turkey with a population of 73.7 million grew 7.8 percent last year following a 9-percent expansion a year earlier.
The location of Turkey at the middle of Europe, the Middle East and even Central Asia will provide an array of business opportunities for South Korean firms, according to the ministry.
A similar free trade pact with the United States went into effect in March this year. South Korea and the European Union (EU) also implemented their free trade deal in July last year.
The country is actively seeking similar pacts with Canada and
Colombia, among several other countries.