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South Korean textile industry to benefit from Korea-US FTA
26
Nov '11
South Korea's textile industry, which mostly comprises of medium and small scale enterprises, is likely to benefit from the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA). This is mainly because the FTA would result in removal of the US tariff on textiles, which almost comes to 32 percent at present.

The average import duty levied by the US on textiles is 13.1 percent, as against the average import tariff of 1.5 percent.

As stated by a Korea Federation of Textile Industries official, the agreement would provide the Korean textile industry with a competitive edge over its competitors like Japan, Taiwan and China. It would not only boost the industry's exports, but would also increase its brand value, he added.

The agreement is seen to help the Korean textile and apparel industry to move forward to an advanced production system with improved value propositions.

A Government sponsored study conducted in August 2011 concluded that once the FTA becomes effective, the country's textile industry would attain an annual average trade surplus of US$ 81 million over the next 15 years, with exports and imports growing at an average rate of US$ 105 million and US$24 million per year, respectively.

According to the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade, pursuant to the FTA, Korea's textile exports to the US would grow at an average annual rate of US$ 183 million for almost a decade, while its imports during the period would surge at an average rate of US$ 25 million per annum.

Registering a trade surplus of US$ 850 million, Korea's textile exports to the US during last year came to US$ 1.22 billion, while its imports for the period came to US$ 360 million. However, there has been a major slump in country's textile exports to the US, when compared to 1989 when it was recorded at US$ 4.31 billion.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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