(Nov. 3, 2008) As of November 2008, a free trade agreement between South Korea and Cambodia will be in effect. According to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance of South Korea, the government in Seoul received notice from the Cambodian government on October 30 that the administrative and legal steps necessary for the free trade regime had been taken.
The agreement is expected to increase trade between the two countries over the US$300 million level reached in 2007. It calls for South Korea, which had a surplus of US$270 million in the bilateral trade last year, to eliminate import duties on 10,658 items made in Cambodia, including clothing and footwear. Companies will have to show country-of-origin verification papers issued by the Ministry of Commerce in Cambodia to quality for duty-free importation into South Korea. Due to the potential impact on the South Korean economy, however, tariffs will continue to be imposed on 108 farm and fishery items, including bananas, pineapples, rice, beef, and pork.
Since 2006, all of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member nations except Thailand have signed free trade pacts with South Korea. (FTA with Cambodia to Go into Effect in November, MCOT.NET, Oct. 31, 2008, available at http://enews.mcot.net/view.php?id=7040.)