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South Korea Ratifies Cambodia Trade Deal

The South Korean National Assembly on September 27 ratified the Cambodia-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA), fuelling hopes for an export boom to Asia’s fourth largest economy.

The CKFTA is to become effective 60 days after both sides have completed their internal procedures and deposited their respective instrument of ratification (IoR), a document by which a country formally agrees to be bound by a treaty.

After the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA), the CKFTA is slated to become the Kingdom’s second bilateral free trade agreement (FTA). The CCFTA entered into force on January 1, the same day that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) took effect in Cambodia.

The RCEP, an ASEAN initiative, is the world’s largest trade pact and includes the Southeast Asian bloc’s 10 member states, along with five additional Asia-Pacific countries: Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea.

Under the CKFTA, coupled with the RCEP, the Kingdom will lift tariffs on 93.8 per cent of goods traded, with South Korea scrapping duties on 95.6 per cent, according to the Yonhap News Agency. Ministry of Commerce spokesman Penn Sovicheat has also noted that the CKFTA will provide more than 10,000 Cambodian items duty-free access to South Korea.

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