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RCEP deal to help boost S. Korea's exports and investment Updated: 2019-11-05 16:12:30 KST

A mega free trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, was reached Monday in Thailand.
The trade deal involves all ten ASEAN member countries and five of their trading partners South Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
India which runs a large trade deficit with China, decided not to join, citing unresolved issues on the deal.

"The agreement with RCEP countries which account for half of South Korea's trade will help revitalize and diversify South Korea's exports."

According to the Korea Economic Research Institute, RCEP will add an annual average of one percent to South Korea's GDP and one.one billion U.S. dollars in consumer benefits in the long run.
It is also expected to boost South Korea's current account by 29 billion dollars.
The trade ministry says the deal will help South Korean companies enter the e-commerce markets of ASEAN countries.
Goods that have been produced in different countries within RCEP in the different stages of production process would also be able to get preferential tariffs.

"Unified rules of origin will help facilitate trade and lower non-tariff barriers. The RCEP deal also helps lower uncertainties amid rising trade protectionism and the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute.

However, RCEP could have a negative impact on South Korea's agriculture and marine sectors as it includes agricultural powerhouses like China, Australia and New Zealand.
In addition, India, which boasts the second largest consumer market in the world, opted out of the deal.
15 RCEP member countries say they aim to officially sign the deal in 2020 and also work to resolve issues and include India in the trade pact.
Kim Hyesung, Arirang News.
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