RoK, Cambodia strike free trade agreement hinh anh 1RoK trade officials participate in the fourth round of negotiations with Cambodia, held virtually, to seek a free trade agreement. (Photo: Yonhap)

Seoul (VNA) – The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea (RoK) on February 3 said the country and Cambodia have clinched a free trade agreement (FTA) after seven months of negotiations.

The two countries plan to hold an official signing ceremony in the near future. The pact also needs a parliamentary approval.

The RoK and Cambodia launched feasibility studies on the FTA after holding a summit in March 2019. The first round of negotiations kicked off in July last year.

This is the first FTA that was negotiated via virtual meetings in history.

Under the deal and also when combined with the upcoming Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Cambodia will lift tariffs on 93.8 percent of all products, with the RoK eliminating duties on 95.6 percent.

Particularly, Cambodia will remove duties for the RoK’s key exports, including trucks, passenger cars, and many agricultural products such as strawberries and dried seaweeds.

Trade exchange between the RoK and Cambodia topped 1 billion USD in 2019; however, the value fell in 2020 due to impacts of COVID-19.

Earlier, the RoK signed free trade pacts with three ASEAN member states of Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia.

The RoK government expects that the signing of the FTAs will help its enterprises set up stable investment and trade markets./.