Free Trade Agreements Growth

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Georgia said the agreement will significantly support investment in participating states. The parties are working to regulate the rules of origin of the agreement, Georgia added. Ukraine said full implementation of the agreement would help the parties achieve a predictable business environment and boost development. Moldova has stated that free trade agreements such as this are an important complement to the multilateral trading system. Azerbaijan, a WTO observer, said the agreement is part of positive developments that the parties have already benefited from with some GUAM member states under existing free trade agreements. By 2031, Peru and Honduras will liberalize about 99 percent of their customs positions on imports. In addition, the liberalization of trade in services goes beyond the respective obligations of the parties under the WTO`s general agreement on trade in services. Peru said the agreement would open up a predictable legal framework for all business activities and would open up new opportunities for small businesses. Bilateral trade reached only $66 million in 2019, but this figure is expected to increase in the post-pandemic phase, Peru added. Korea will liberalize more than 76% of its customs borders for imports from ASEAN, while ASEAN members will liberalize between 85 and 100% of their customs lines for imports from Korea.

Korea has taken note of the increase in the volume of bilateral trade, which it said continues through close cooperation between the contracting parties to the agreement. Korea added that the parties were currently negotiating market access for sensitive products for additional benefits. Thailand stated, on behalf of ASEAN, that the agreement builds on existing WTO obligations and provides for progressive trade liberalization through significant coverage of different sectors. Thailand pointed out that Korea is currently ASEAN`s fifth largest trading partner and tenth largest source of foreign direct investment. As part of the free trade agreement between Hong Kong, China and Georgia, the parties to the agreement, which came into force on February 13, 2019, highlighted the benefits it has brought to trade and investment in both sides. Georgia has abolished tariffs on 96.6% of its tariffs on imports from Hong Kong, China, while Hong Kong and China have linked its tariff regime. The RTA committee looked at the ASEAN-Japan free trade agreement, which came into force for contracting parties between 2008 and 2010. The parties noted that by the time this agreement came into force, bilateral economic partnership agreements (EPAs) between Japan and seven ASEAN member states had already entered into force for all contracting parties. The agreement was an important element of the economic integration and integrity of the region.

By April 2026, ASEAN countries will have liberalized 76-100% of customs positions on imports from Japan. Japan will have liberalized nearly 88% of its customs positions on imports from ASEAN. Peru, on behalf of the contracting parties to the Peru-Honduras free trade agreement, said the agreement underscored the importance of using trade as an engine of growth, especially after the COVID-19 crisis. The agreement came into force on January 1, 2017. Hong Kong, China said the agreement offered legal certainty and improved trade and investment flows. It also noted that the agreement covered a wide range of service sectors and included provisions relating to investor protection, intellectual property rights, competition, environmental sustainability, transparency and dispute resolution.



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