S Korean preferential tariff scheme to boost Myanmar export

16:14, March 11, 2010      

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South Korea has unilaterally offered duty-free quota-free tariff to 251 more exporting items of Myanmar under its preferential tariff scheme for least-developed countries, bringing as many as 85 percent of Myanmar's exporting commodities under such status up to January this year.

The status was up from 80 percent in 2009 and 75 percent in 2008.

Korea's preferential tariff scheme for the least-developed countries covers granting duty-free quota-free status for commodities of 4,074 categories at H.S 6 digital level which are outlined as agricultural produce, marine products, animal byproducts, garments, mineral, industrial products, medicine and pharmaceuticals, chemical products, handicrafts and so on.

Of these commodities covered by the scheme, there include some agricultural produce, marines and garment products of Myanmar.

South Korea had granted import duty free and quota free on 253 Myanmar goods items for 2009 to boost trade with Myanmar.

The 253 goods items include agricultural produce, marines and forestry products, textiles and traditional handicraft products.

Myanmar has urged exporters in the country to make effective use of the preferences extended by South Korea and boost export to the East Asian country.

Bilateral trade between South Korea and Myanmar is expected to grow high following the exemption of tariff on most of the goods imported from ASEAN countries.

Since 2007, 63 percent of items of goods imported by South Korea from countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have been exempted from tax.

The move represented a step forward of South Korea towards establishing the South Korea-ASEAN Free Trade Area.

South Korea has become the 8th largest trading partner of Myanmar with about 3,000 items of Myanmar goods exported to South Korea which covered agricultural produce, marine and forest products, and garments, while Myanmar mainly imported from S. Korea steel, garment, electrical and electronic goods.

South Korea is reported to continue to cut or exempt tariff up to 95 percent of items of goods imported from ASEAN nations including Myanmar, while expecting Myanmar to reduce or exempt tariff on goods imported from South Korea beginning 2018.

According to the official statistics, Myanmar-S. Korea bilateral trade amounted to 252 million U.S. dollars in the fiscal year of 2008-09, of which Myanmar's export to Korea took 63.7 million dollars, while its import from Korea stood at 188.48 million dollars.

In the investment sector, South Korea's investment in Myanmar reached 240 million U.S. dollars up to November last year since 1988, standing as the 10th largest foreign investor in the country, according to official statistics.

The East Asian country's investment in 37 projects accounted for 1.52 percent of Myanmar's total foreign investment of over 15 billion dollars.

Meanwhile, a total of seven Myanmar companies and 70 Korean companies have sought investment and trade worth of 31 million U.S. dollars in Myanmar, according to reports.

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