Overall Exports Drop in 2015 but South Korea’s FTAs Counterbalance the Effect
Although exports from South Korea faced a steep drop last year still the countries free trade agreements (FTAs) somewhat helped it to counter balance the effect. On Monday, report from the Korea Customs Service showed that in spite of a deep slide in exports, the country was saved from a major crash in overall shipments in 2015.
Last year, the overall shipment for South Korea fell sharply by eight percent in on year on year basis, by approximately US$527 billion. The saving grace were the outbound shipments to those countries that have free trade deals with South Korea as they fell only 4.4 percent compared to the figures noted one year earlier. In comparison, shipment figures to non-FTA countries dropped a major10.7 percent in on year on year basis.
At present, South Korea has fourteen bilateral and multilateral free trade pacts which cover fifty or more countries worldwide. The report from the Korea Customs Service said that FTA deals helped in minimizing a slash in imports too. The report said, "Even among exports and imports to and from FTA countries, shipments of items that benefited under FTAs dropped at a much slower rate than those of goods that did not fall under the benefits of FTAs, again proving that FTAs helped keep imports and exports from crashing."