RCEP becomes a “paving stone” for Korean enterprises to expand foreign trade

With the final signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) on November 15th, the world’s largest free trade agreement, South Korean companies have further expanded their export routes.

The report pointed out that the South Korean government’s trade department said on the same day that South Korean auto parts and steel industries would benefit from this. Countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand have exempted tariffs on seat belts, airbags, wheels and other auto parts, and exports of related products will increase. For complete vehicles, some countries have exempted import tariffs on trucks and some small cars.

According to the report, in addition, tariffs on steel products such as steel bars, section steel, steel pipes and gold-plated steel plates have also been cancelled. Given that more than half of South Korea’s steel trading volume comes from RCEP member countries, the steel industry welcomes the final signing of the agreement. The Iron and Steel Association issued a statement on the same day that the agreement can not only promote the liberalization of intra-regional trade and enhance export competitiveness, but also provide tremendous help to the Korean steel industry.

The report also said that the agreement also exempted synthetic resins, plastic pipes, tires and other petrochemical products, rolling bearings, mechanical parts, textile equipment and other mechanical products from tariffs. Some countries also lowered the tariff thresholds for electrical and electronic products. The South Korean government’s trade department stated that although the tariff rates and concessions of different countries are different, the South Korean side can gain more market opportunities.