Hürriyet – Turkey and South Korea crowned their long standing interstate relation with a free trade agreement (FTA) signed in the Turkish capital of Ankara yesterday. Long in preparation, the FTA concludes the final chapter of negotiations that began when Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak met in Seoul in last March.
Signed by Turkey’s Minister of Economy, Zafer Caglayan and South Korea’s Minister of Trade Taeho Bark, the treaty aims to support the trade ties between the fast growing Turkey and the Asian Tiger South Korea and increase business opportunities for Turkish-South Korean partnerships in third countries.
“This agreement constitutes an important step towards the economic integration of two countries with a combined GDP of USD 2 trillion, a foreign trade of USD 1.5 trillion and a population of 120 million..”, Minister Caglayan said at the signing ceremony. “As the first free trade agreement signed between a Far Eastern nation and Turkey, the deal will help Turkey and South Korea to get closer economically. Moreover, it will pave the way for entrepreneurs from both countries to do business together in third countries”, Minister added.
The trade volume between both countries, around USD 7 billion in 2011, is expected to reach USD 10 billion in 2-3 years with the enactment of the FTA. Turkey has other FTAs in the pipeline with Asian nations as negotiations with Malaysia have reached an advanced stage and one with Japan is being considered by both sides.