South Korea, Colombia to implement free-trade agreement

July 8, 2013 at 1:37 AM

SEOUL, July 8 (UPI) -- South Korea and Colombia Monday agreed to speedily implement their bilateral, free-trade agreement signed in February, the Seoul government said.

The decision was reached at a meeting in Seoul of South Korean Trade Minister Yoon Sang-jick and Colombian Commerce Minister Sergio Diaz-Granados Guida, Yonhap News reported.

A joint news release said the free-trade pact would benefit both countries while significantly deepening their economic cooperation.

"Also, the two sides agreed on intensified cooperation between the countries' governments as strategic partners may lead to an expansion of operations by South Korean firms in Colombia, especially in the infrastructure and industrial plant industries, which in turn may contribute to Colombia's economic development," it said.

The agreement needs to be ratified by the two countries' parliaments.

Under the agreement, the two sides will eliminate more than 96 percent of the tariffs on each other's goods within 10 years after it takes effect.

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