Israeli officials clarified that while there is no differentiation in the agreement, South Korea can still retain the benefits of settlement products. In this case, Israel would compensate these companies. JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel and South Korea concluded three years of negotiations for a free trade agreement on Wednesday in hopes of capitalizing on a more than 15 percent increase in bilateral trade last year to $2.5 billion. Israel and South Korea appear poised to move quickly into a trade deal. In addition, the free trade agreement should go beyond many of Israel`s existing agreements and contain chapters on investment protection and trade in services. Broader free trade agreements are in vogue in Israel and – if previous free trade agreements serve as an indication of what the future might bring (e.g. Free Trade Agreement with Colombia and Panama) – we can expect that this free trade agreement will also contain additional chapters, for example. B on sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, means of trade, free movement of natural persons, electronic commerce and others. “We`ve had free trade agreements with other parts of the world with the United States, with Europe and elsewhere, but this is the first free trade agreement we have with an Asian economy and what an economy, a world leader, a living, advanced economy,” Netanyahu said. Israel and South Korea announced Wednesday that they have reached a free trade agreement to remove tariffs on goods ranging from cars and medical devices to lipstick and video games. Israel and South Korea are natural trading partners – a point that is reflected in trade between the two countries worth about $2.5 billion in 2018. This is mainly due to the fact that the two countries promote international trade and free markets, and because their economies are complementary in many ways: for years, due to South Korea`s request not to include the West Bank and Golan Heights in the agreement, territories controlled by Israel but not recognized as Israeli by most of the international community, to include in the agreement.
South Korea is the first Asian country to conclude a free trade agreement with Israel. The two governments entered the FTA negotiations in May 2016 and have conducted six rounds of formal negotiations for about three years. According to the Ministry of Economy, trade between the two countries reached 2.5 billion $US last year, up nearly 15 percent from 2017. A free trade agreement between South Korea and Israel is expected to be concluded and soon rolled out, according to reports….