August 21, 2019 / 11:47 AM / a month ago

Israel, South Korea forge free trade deal

JERUSALEM, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Israel and South Korea concluded negotiations on a free trade agreement on Wednesday.

Bilateral trade between the two countries rose more than 15% in 2018 to $2.5 billion and the deal, which still needs final ratification, is expected to boost that further.

Under the deal, more than 95% of Israeli exports will be exempt from customs duties while importers and consumers will save some 100 million shekels ($28 million) a year, the Economy Ministry said.

Nearly half of Israeli exports to South Korea are machinery, electrical and medical equipment. They also include fertilisers, cosmetics and juices.

Customs duties will be eliminated on imports from South Korea, the world’s 11th largest economy, including cars and auto parts, toys, appliances and electronic components.

$1 = 3.5259 shekels Reporting by Steven Scheer; editing by John Stonestreet

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