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Korea's exports to ASEAN more than double thanks to FTA

South Korea's exports to the group of Southeast Asian countries more than doubled over the last decade as commerce and investment increased following the implementation of a free trade deal, government data showed Wednesday.

Outbound shipments to the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations reached US$74.52 billion in 2016, compared with $32.1 billion in 2006, according to the data by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

With the South Korea-ASEAN free trade deal taking effect in 2007, exports have grown an average 7.5 percent annually over the 10-year period, while Asia's fourth-largest economy saw its overall exports gain 3.3 percent every year in the cited period.

South Korea's imports expanded an annual 3.3 percent to $44.32 billion in 2016 over the past decade, with the surplus totaling $30.2 billion last year.

As a result, the total trade between South Korea and ASEAN increased 5.7 percent every year to $118.8 billion last year over the 2006-2016 period, accounting for 13.2 percent of the country's entire outbound shipments of $901.6 billion.

Investment by South Korean companies to ASEAN amounted to $6.4 billion in 2016, up from $3.7 billion tallied in 2006, while $2.5 billion worth of ASEAN-originated investment came to South Korea last year, surging from $703 million 10 years earlier.

"Over the past 10 years, ASEAN has become the second-largest trade partner for South Korea," the ministry said. "South Korea and ASEAN are making efforts to upgrade the 10-year old FTA to expand market openness and tariff cuts." (Yonhap)

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