Seoul - South Korea signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with Britain on Thursday, a step to help maintain the continuity of their trade and economic ties even after London’s departure from the European Union (EU).
There have been concerns that South Korean exporters may no longer enjoy the benefits under the existing South Korea-EU FTA when Britain leaves the world’s single largest economic bloc without agreeing on post-Brexit conditions, recalls South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.
In London, South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee and her British counterpart Elizabeth Truss vowed to maintain mutual benefits under the Seoul-Brussels FTA that took effect in July 2011.
“South Korea will make thorough preparations and take actions to help local companies maintain their trade and investment free from the uncertainties, including Brexit,” Yoo said.
Seoul plans to finalize the remaining procedures, including winning the parliament’s ratification, before the end of October when Britain is scheduled to depart from the world’s single largest economic bloc. The two countries also agreed to revise the FTA within two years to update terms of the deal, according to the ministry. When implemented, South Korea will be able to export major products, including automobiles, without tariffs to Britain, as has been under the Seoul-Brussels FTA.