Korea signs free-trade deal with Vietnam to cut tariffs on cosmetics

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Korea signs free-trade deal with Vietnam to cut tariffs on cosmetics

Related tags South korean cosmetics South korea International trade Vietnam

Korea has agreed to a free-trade deal with Vietnam that minstry officials say will gradually cut tariffs on cosmetics exports in Southeast Asia.

According to the Korean ministry of trade, industry and energy; the deal will see Vietnam gradually wipe out tariffs on certain imports from Korea that were formerly protected under the Korea-Asean FTA.

Korean cosmetics, popular among Asia's tourists for their high quality and low cost have been included in the pact, which will see cuts of 10 to 25 per cent in Vietnam. 

The ministry reports the agreement to be the first upgraded version of the Korea-Asean FTA signed by Korea and the 10 member states of Asean. 

Trade Minister Yoon Sang-jick signed, along with Vu Huy Hoang from in Hanoi in the presence of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

"[This] will expand investment by Korean companies in Vietnam and help the economic development of Vietnam, as well as increase bilateral trade between the two countries,​” says Korea's Sang-jick.

In return, Korea has agreed to remove tariffs on Vietnamese clothing and agricultural products.

Korea also has a deal with China to trade more easily...

Recent negotiations between the China and South Korea's government resulted in a preliminary agreement that allowed Korean consumer goods manufacturers to trade more easily with China.

The proposed legislation will see tariffs removed on more than 90% of goods traded between the two companies over the course of 20 years, which will include a long list of consumer products, specifically cosmetics and personal care.

It could spell significant trade opportunities for South Korean cosmetics companies, who are already enjoying a wave of success as Chinese consumers scramble to get their hands on what are perceived to be high quality, good value for money products.

That is because, under current trading regulations with China, South Korean beauty products are hit with a tariff as high as 130%, putting them very much in the luxury and prestige end of the retail spectrum.

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