Published : 2011-06-29 21:53
Updated : 2011-06-29 21:53
The National Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill on South Korea’s free trade agreement with Peru, paving the way for trades and investments between the countries to increase.
South Korea and Peru signed the deal in March. The pact, which does not require an endorsement from the Peruvian parliament, calls for both countries to eliminate all tariffs within 10 years after it takes effect.
The National Assembly passed the bill after the parliament's foreign affairs and trade committee approved it the previous day.
Seoul's foreign ministry welcomed the passage of the bill, saying it will help boost investments and trades between the two countries.
"The free trade deal with Peru will contribute to bolstering trades and investments and promoting cooperation in resources development. We expect that the FTA agreement will help South Korea expand into the South American markets," the ministry said in a statement.
Peru is the second South American country with which South Korea has sealed such a trade pact. In April 2003, South Korea signed a similar trade deal with Chile, Seoul's first free trade partner.
Under the agreement with Peru, tariffs on South Korean automobiles with engine displacements of less than 3,000 cubic centimeters will be scrapped in five years, while the tax on Peruvian coffee will be abolished right after the deal comes into effect, according to the foreign ministry.
Bilateral trade reached $1.98 billion in 2010 with South Korea's exports to the South American country reaching $944 million.