China, South Korea sign free trade pact

China and South Korea on Monday have signed a free trade agreement that would remove the majority of tariffs between Asia’s largest and fourth-largest economies, whose trade is already worth more than $200 billion.

The pact — largely agreed in November and signed by the two nations’ trade ministers on Monday — aims to gradually remove tariffs on more than 90 percent of traded goods within 20 years.

China is the South’s top trading partner as well as the biggest export market, and two-way trade stood at around $235.3 billion in 2014, according to state data in Seoul.

South Korea, who is one of the biggest foreign investors in China, pumped in $1.6 billion in the first quarter of this year.

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, in a letter to Chinese leader Xi Jinping, called the accord a “historic milestone” that would further cement relations.

Full article: China, South Korea sign free trade pact (World Bulletin)

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