logo logo


The government of South Korea has concluded, or is pursuing negotiations for, a number of bilateral free trade and investment agreements. Korean social movements have been mobilizing in opposition to these ever since the Korea-Chile FTA was proposed. So far, South Korea has signed deals with Chile (2004), EFTA (2004), Singapore (2005), ASEAN (2007) the US (2007, ratified in 2011), Peru (2011) and Turkey (2012). Talks are under way with Canada, China, Mexico, India, the EU and, technically speaking, Japan. Negotiations with Colombia have stalled over Colombia’s demands for access for better terms for its fruit and flower exports than what Korea gives Chile and Peru. Seoul is also looking to open discussions with Mercosur, Malaysia, Mexico and possibly Israel.

last update: May 2012
Photo: Joe Mabel / CC BY-SA 3.0

Korea, Chile hold talks to update FTA
South Korea and Chile opened their first round of talks to revise their bilateral free trade agreement to reflect changes in the market over the past 15 years.
Korea seeks trade pacts with ASEAN members, agrees to cooperate for regional pact
Seoul agreed to launch a feasibility study on a free trade agreement with Malaysia and resume stalled trade pact negotiations with Indonesia.
Schindler sues Korean gov’t over Hyundai Elevator
Swiss elevator maker, Schindler Group, has officially filed for an investor state dispute settlement against the Korean government seeking US$300 million in compensation for losses over its approval of paid-in capital increase of Hyundai Elevator
S. Korea, Mercosur to hold first trade talks in Uruguay
South Korea and the South American trade block Mercosur will launch their formal trade negotiations in Uruguay.
Korea-Turkey FTA in services and investment to go into effect Wed
A free trade agreement between South Korea and Turkey expands to the services sector and investment from Wednesday, raising more business opportunities for Korean contents and builders in the transcontinental country.
Schindler seeks $264 mn ISD suit vs Korean gov over Hyundai Elevator
Schindler filed a notice of intent for arbitration on July 11. Under the ISD procedure, if the issue is not resolved through settlement in 90 days, the investor can take the case to the international tribunal.
S. Korea, China to hold second round of FTA talks in July
South Korea and China will hold the second round of talks to expand the scope of their bilateral free trade agreement later to better cover the service and investment sectors.
Seoul, Moscow to seek start of FTA negotiations for service, investment: Moon
South Korea and Russia will soon launch negotiations for their first free trade agreement , South Korean President Moon Jae-in said.
Korea suffers first defeat in ISD case
The Korean government was ordered to pay about 73 billion won to an Iranian investor who filed an investor-state lawsuit, claiming that he suffered losses in the process of participating in an auction for Daewoo Electronics in 2010.
S. Korea, Mercosur agree to launch trade talks
South Korea and the South American trade block Mercosur agreed to begin formal negotiations for a trade deal in the latter half of this year.