A Free Trade Agreement signed between South Korea and the Philippines

In the first half of 2020, South Korea and the Philippines decided to conclude FTA talks.

Earlier that year, both nations stated they hoped the agreement would be signed at the commemorative summit held in Busan between ASEAN and Korea this week. Nonetheless, on Monday South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee and Ramon Lopez signed a joint statement to promote the deal. The Philippines has agreed to raise barriers to South Korean car parts and pharmaceutical and petrochemical goods, according to Yonhap News Agency. South Korea agreed to open the banana and clothing market in return.

South Korea has an ASEAN FTA but is pursuing separate deals with its top five southeast Asian trading partners. In October, South Korea reached a free-trade deal with Indonesia, with both countries formally signing the agreement in the first half of 2020 on the occasion of the summit this week.

A free trade agreement with Cambodia is being focused on in South Korea. Trade between the two nations last year grew by 14.7%. The principal exports of Cambodia to South Korea include clothing, electronics, shoes, baggage, aluminum, beverages, medical supply, and rubber. Imports of cars, bulldozers, cloths, water supplies, computers and cosmetics from South Korea.

The free trade agreement with Malaysia is being developed in South Korea as well. It has agreements with Singapore and Vietnam already.

Exports to the United States and China are heavily dependent upon South Korea. This has affected the economy, together with its trade war with Japan. In October, the country’s exports fell 14.7% from the previous year, and the slump it experienced this year was added another month.

Nevertheless, according to the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade, the South Korean economy is expected to grow 2.3 percent year-on-year over 2020 compared to the predicted 2 percent increase this year.

The largest trade deal in the world is expected to be concluded in 2020 in other regional trade developments. All 10 ASEAN countries (Australia, China, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and five of ASEAN’s major trading partners will be covered by the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP): Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand. (Participation was rejected by India.)