Korea’s FTAs with China, Vietnam and New Zealand took effect on Dec. 20, causing the tariffs to be immediately eliminated with regard to 958 and 2,013 items Korea exports to China and New Zealand, respectively.
According to the Korea-Vietnam FTA, the 12 percent tariff on Korean fabrics and textiles is to be eliminated within three years, and the 7 to 25 percent tariff on auto parts is to be removed in five to 15 years, which means Korea’s intermediate goods exports to Vietnam can increase with time. Based on the FTA with New Zealand, those on refrigerators (5 percent) and heavy construction equipment (5 percent) will be eliminated within three years, those on auto parts (5 percent to 12.5 percent) within three to seven years, and those on steel products (5 percent) within five years.
In addition, China is to open its legal, construction, environmental, logistics and entertainment markets and allow purely Korean firms to be founded in the five fields of wastewater treatment, solid waste treatment, exhaust gas purification, noise reduction and hygiene control. When it comes to Vietnam, a high level of investor protection is put into practice so that more than 4,000 Korean firms doing business in the country can be better protected concerning remittance, ISD, etc.
The working holiday quota for New Zealand has been increased from 1,800 to 3,000 people, while temporary entry for employment is allowed for three years in 10 occupational fields including Korean teaching, Taekwondo teaching, tour guides, multimedia design and software engineering.