Chapter 8: Korea’s Approaches to Regionalism
Inkyo Cheong INTRODUCTION The Asia-Paciﬁc region including East Asia is the least developed region in terms of regionalism. However, many countries in East Asia began to be concerned with free trade agreements (FTAs) after the East Asian ﬁnancial crisis. In 1998, Korea announced its plan to proceed with an FTA with Chile and also began a joint study with Japan. The Korea–Chile FTA negotiations were launched in December 1999 and concluded in October 2002. In addition to the FTA with Chile, Korea is under negotiation for bilateral FTAs with Japan and Singapore. In addition to these FTAs, Korea is studying or discussing the feasibilities of FTAs with other countries such as ASEAN, Mexico, Canada, India and so on. This chapter overviews Korea’s FTA policies, focusing on major issues present in a Japan–Korea FTA. It starts with the general discussion on Korea’s position towards FTAs. KOREA’S POSITION TOWARDS FTAs Korea concluded its ﬁrst FTA with Chile in October 2002 and it was implemented in April 2004. The core issue for Korea’s trade policy was the ratiﬁcation of its FTA with Chile by the Korean National Assembly in early 2004. Farmers believed that the Korean Government’s promotion of FTAs would prove a further blow to the agricultural sector and as a result, the agricultural sector opposed the FTA with Chile for fear of the consequences of other FTA promotion in general (rather than a speciﬁc objection to a partnership with Chile). Korea has opened the agricultural market...
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