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Turkey to Sign Free-Trade Accord With South Korea Aug. 1

Turkey will sign a free-trade agreement with South Korea on Aug. 1, paving the way to duty-free bilateral commerce, according to Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan.

The deal, to be signed in Ankara, will enable Turkish exporters to sell products to South Korea, whose imports were valued at $524 billion in 2011, on a preferred-partner basis, Caglayan said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

Caglayan said 93 percent of Turkish goods sold to South Korea will be duty-free after the accord takes effect. The agreement will help Turkey close its trade gap with South Korea, which is selling 12 times more goods to Turkey than its Turkish purchases, he said. The two countries will have 10 years to abolish customs duties on their bilateral trade, he said.

The agreement will bring Turkish exporters to an equal level with those from the European Union and the U.S., which signed similar deals with South Korea that took effect in July 2011 and March 15, respectively, Caglayan said.

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