South Korea Wants Fast Track EAEU Free Trade Deal

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South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said that he intends to speed up negotiations on free trade in the investment and services areas with Russia, in his national Lunar New Year speech, broadcast earlier today.

Moscow and Seoul first began negotiations in 2019. The FTA with Russia includes the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and member countries Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. As a Free Trade bloc, it sits between China and the European Union and is a market of 167 million with a collective GDP of US$5 trillion.

A Free Trade Agreement would give Russian and other EAEU countries access to South Korean markets and vice-versa. Russia is looking for new markets in Asia following the collapse of its trade with the EU due to sanctions. South Korea has been opening up also and has recently joined the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and is also looking at negotiations with Latin America’s Mercosur bloc as well as with Mexico. It is also looking at FTA with Cambodia and Uzbekistan.

The EAEU also has FTA with China (currently non-preferential), Serbia, Iran, Singapore and Vietnam and is also holding negotiations with Egypt, India and Turkey.

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