Republic of Korea market snapshot
- GDP: US$1.22 trillion (2013)
- GDP per capita: US$24,329 (2013)
- GDP growth: 2.8 per cent (2013)
- Population: 50.2 million (2013)
- Trade with Australia: AU$32.1 billion (2013)
About the Korea-Australia FTA
Minister Robb and his Korean counterpart, Trade Minister Yoon, concluded negotiations on the Australia-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) in early December 2013. The legally verified text of the agreement was initialed by Chief Negotiators on 10 February 2014 and released to the public on 17 February 2014. The Agreement was signed on 8 April 2014 during a ceremony in Seoul, South Korea.
KAFTA will enter into force after the completion of domestic processes by Australia and Korea. Both countries are making good progress toward this goal. Implementing legislation was passed by the Australian Parliament on 1 October 2014. In Korea, the Agreement has been submitted to the Korean National Assembly for approval.
Australia and Korea have one of the strongest and most complementary trading relationships in the Asia-Pacific region and KAFTA will result in excellent outcomes for Australia.
Map of Korea - quick facts
The Seoul National Capital Area has 24.5 million inhabitants, making it one of the world’s largest metropolitan markets.
Consistently ranked as one of the world's best airports; Incheon International Airport is a major regional hub.
Renowned as one of the world's largest ports; it can handle up to 13.2 million shipping containers per year.
Business Opportunities and KAFTA
The 'Korea: Business Opportunities and the FTA' seminar series will be held from 11–21 November in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Darwin and Adelaide.
The seminars will explore how the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) will open up new opportunities for business in Australia's third largest export market. The series is jointly organised by Austrade and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in partnership with state and territory governments and the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic).
Find out more and register: Korea: Business Opportunities and the FTA.
Parliament passes implementing legislation
Following passage of amendments to the Customs Act 1901 and the Customs Tariff Act 1995 by the Australian Parliament on 1 October, amendments to several regulations will shortly be submitted to Federal Executive Council (Exco) for approval. Once these processes have been completed, Australia will be ready to exchange notes with Korea to bring KAFTA into force.
Joint Standing Committee on Treaties completes review and implementing legislation introduced to Parliament
The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) tabled the report of its inquiry into the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) in Parliament on 4 September 2014. JSCOT report 142 recommended that binding treaty action be taken.
The Government subsequently introduced legislation needed to implement the Agreement into Parliament on 4 September 2014. The Customs Amendment (Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement Implementation) Bill 2014 and the Customs Tariff Amendment (Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement Implementation) Bill 2014 and their explanatory memoranda were introduced into the House of Representatives by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Scott Morrison MP.
Tabling of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement in the Australian Parliament
Minister Robb tabled the text of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement with the National Interest Analysis in the Australian Parliament on 13 May 2014. The Agreement will now be considered by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT). More information about JSCOT and details on how to make a submission.
The Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee is also conducting an inquiry into KAFTA and is receiving submissions. Further details on the inquiry into KAFTA.
Signature of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement
The Minister for Trade and Investment Mr Robb and his South Korean counterpart, the Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy Mr Yoon Sang-jick, signed the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement on 8 April 2014. The ceremony was witnessed by Australian Prime Minister Mr Abbott and his South Korean counterpart, President of South Korea Ms Park Geun-hye.
Media release: Korea-Australia FTA signed in Seoul
Release of Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement Text
The text of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) was released by the Trade and Investment Minister on 17 February 2014.
Media release: Public release of Korea-Australia FTA text, 17 February 2014
Korea-Australia FTA Initialled on 10 February 2014
Australian and Korean Chief Negotiators met in Canberra on 10 February to initial the final text of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA), following the conclusion of negotiations in December 2013. Australia and Korea are now preparing for signature of the Agreement, anticipated to take place in the first half of 2014.
Conclusion of Negotiations
On 5 December 2013 Prime Minister Abbott announced the conclusion of negotiations on the Australia-Korea FTA. The agreement will see tariffs of up to 300 per cent eliminated on key Australian agricultural exports such as beef, wheat, sugar, dairy, wine, horticulture and seafood, as well as resources, energy and manufactured goods. It will also provide for opportunities in Korea for Australian services in education, telecommunications, and a range of professional services including financial, accounting and legal services.
Guide to the Agreement
Guides by sector
- Fact Sheet: Trade in Goods
- Fact Sheet: Trade in Services
- Fact Sheet: Trade in financial services
- Fact Sheet: Investment
- Fact Sheet: Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS)
- Fact Sheet: Intellectual Property, Electronic Commerce and Competition Policy
- Fact Sheet: Government Procurement
- Fact Sheet: Temporary Movement of Natural Persons
Here you can locate the full text of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
Table of Contents
The Annexes in chapters 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 20 and 21 are found in the relevant chapters.
- Initial Provisions and Definitions
- Trade in Goods
- Rules of Origin and Origin Procedures
- Customs Administration and Trade Facilitation
- Technical Barriers to Trade and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
- Trade Remedies
- Annex 11-A Customary International Law
- Annex 11-B Expropriation
- Annex 11-C Transfers
- Annex 11-D Illustrative List of Australian Residency Requirements
- Annex 11-E Possibility of a Bilateral Appellate Mechanism
- Annex 11-F Submission of a Claim to Arbitration
- Annex 11-G Foreign Investment Policy
- Annex 11-H Service of Documents on a Party under Section B
- Annex 11-I Taxation and Expropriation
Non Conforming Measures (Chapters 8, 10 and 11)
- Gambling and Betting Services - Korea to Australia
- Gambling and Betting Services - Australia to Korea
- Services and Investment - Korea to Australia
- Services and Investment - Australia to Korea
- Telecommunications - Korea to Australia
- Telecommunications - Australia to Korea
- UNCITRAL Transparency Rules - Korea to Australia
- UNCITRAL Transparency Rules - Australia to Korea
Exchange of Letters on Geographical Indications
Letters between Ms Jan Adams, Chief Negotiator for Australia, and Mr Taehoo Woo, Chief Negotiator for Korea, providing clarifications on geographical indications.
The Australia-Korea FTA was concluded in early December 2013. Below are the public submissions received during negotiations
- ANZ Bank (February 2009)
- Australia Korea Business Council (February 2009)
- Australian Bankers Association (January 2009)
- Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) (February 2009)
- Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry - Harmonising Administrative Procedures in PTA to Support Trade Facilitation [PDF 494 KB]
- Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry - Industry views on documentation in FTAs [PDF 755 KB]
- Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry - Documentary options for tariff reduction available to Australian Exporters per FTA [PDF 137 KB]
- Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) (February 2009)
- Australian Council of Wool Exporters and Processors (February 2009)
- Australian Dairy Industry Council (January 2009)
- Australian Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (AEEMA) (March 2007)
- Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) (January 2009)
- Australian Food and Grocery Council
- Australian Industry Group (AiG) (February 2009)
- Australian National University (ANU)
- Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC) (January 2009)
- Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) (January 2009)
- Australian Oilseeds Federation (April 2009)
- Australian Plantation Products and Paper Industry Council (A3P) (November 2009)
- Australian Pork Limited (February 2009)
- Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) /Music Industry Piracy Investigators (MIPI) (January 2009)
- Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (AWBC) (January 2009)
- BHP Billiton Limited (January 2009)
- BlueScope Steel
- Commonwealth and Public Sector Union (CPSU) - State Public Services Federation Group (January 2009)
- Compassion in World Farming (February 2009)
- Engineers Australia (January 2009)
- Ford Australia
- Frosty Boy (January 2009)
- Generic Medicines Industry of Australia (GMIA) (January 2009)
- GM Holden
- Horticulture Market Access Committee (Horticulture Australia Ltd)
- International Legal Services Advisory Council (ILSAC) (February 2009)
- International Trademark Association (INTA) (June 2009)
- Investment and Financial Services Association (IFSA) (January 2009)
- Macquarie Bank
- Mariani Foods (February 2010)
- Maryborough Sugar
- Meat and Livestock Association (MLA)
- Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) (March 2009)
- Monash University (February 2009)
- Mulwarra Exports
- Music Council of Australia (MCA) (July 2009)
- National Farmers' Federation (NFF)
- Mr Jean Ough (January 2009)
- Queensland Law Society (August 2009)
- Ricegrowers Australia (June 2007)
- Seafood Services Australia, on behalf of Seafood Access Forum
- Government of South Australia (April 2009) - letter and public submission.
- Mr Richard Stone (January 2009)
- TAFE Directors Australia (February 2009)
- Toyota Motor Corporation Australia (September 2009)
- Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (March 2009)
- Universities Australia (February 2009)
- University of Newcastle (July 2009)
- Government of Victoria (June 2009) - letter and public submission
- Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (February 2009)
- Dr Brett G Williams (February 2009)
Australia-Republic of Korea FTA Study
In April 2008, a joint non-government study into the feasibility of a free trade agreement between Australia and the Republic of Korea was released. The study, conducted by ITS Global, a Melbourne-based trade consultancy, and the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), concluded that a free trade agreement between Australia and Korea that liberalised substantially all barriers to trade and investment offered significant opportunities to further strengthen our highly complementary and growing bilateral trade and investment relationship, and deliver gains to both countries through closer economic integration. Economic modelling undertaken for ITS estimated that a comprehensive FTA covering goods and services trade and investment would increase the present value of real GDP of Australia by US$22.7bn and of Korea by US$29.6bn over the period 2007-2020.
If you would like to know more about the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement, contact:
- Email: KoreaFTA@dfat.gov.au
- Phone: (02) 6261 1111
- Fax: (02) 6261 2187
Korea FTA Coordinator
Free Trade Agreement Division
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
RG Casey Building
John McEwen Crescent
Barton ACT 0221