Sat, 19 Jun 2021

JERUSALEM, Israel: Israel and South Korea are preparing to enter a free trade agreement this week to eliminate customs duties, as well as offer safety nets on investments in a bid to boost trade.

This would be Israel's first free trade pact with an Asian country, according to Israel's economy ministry.

The agreement, which is scheduled to be signed in Seoul during a visit by Israel's foreign affairs and economy ministers this week, will exempt more than 95 percent of Israeli exports to South Korea from customs fees and also make Korean imports to Israel cheaper.

The free trade agreement is expected to significantly boost trade between the two countries.

According to the Israeli ministry, bilateral trade between Israel and South Korea reached $2.4 billion in 2020. About two-thirds of it comprised goods and services imported into Israel, it said.

"I hope our citizens will enjoy lower prices on cars, cell phones and other products arriving from Korea," said Israeli Economy Minister Amir Peretz, as quoted by The Jerusalem Post.

Israel is pursuing similar arrangements with China, Vietnam, and India, the ministry noted.

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