News / Economy

South Korea, Australia Sign Free Trade Deal

Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott (L) speaks next to his South Korean counterpart Park Geun-hye during a news conference at the presidential house in Seoul, April 8, 2014.
Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott (L) speaks next to his South Korean counterpart Park Geun-hye during a news conference at the presidential house in Seoul, April 8, 2014.
VOA News
South Korea and Australia have signed a free trade deal aimed at realizing the "untapped potential" between two of Asia's largest economies.

The deal would immediately lift levies on key agricultural and technological goods and would aim to do away with almost all tariffs within ten years.

Speaking in Seoul on Tuesday, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott called the pact "historic" and mutually beneficial.

"Economically, there is huge untapped potential in the relationship between our two countries and I am determined to build on this and I believe that what we have signed today makes this a historic moment in the relationship between Australia and Korea," said Abbott.

Though Australia and South Korea are among East Asia's most important economies, bilateral trade has been limited, coming in at just over $30 billion last year.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye said the deal would help boost that figure, as well as help create more investment and jobs in both countries.

Park also said she and Abbott agreed to strengthen security cooperation in light of the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

"The Prime Minister Abbott and I shared a common view that it is important to strengthen mutual assistance on foreign diplomacy and security issues, in this rapidly changing security situation in the region," said Park.

Abbott arrived in Seoul from Japan, where he announced a separate free trade agreement on Monday with Tokyo.

The Australian prime minister, who on Wednesday flies to Beijing, said he is open to finalizing a free trade deal with China "as soon as possible."

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.