Australia-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement negotiations

Republic of Korea market snapshot

  • GDP: US$1.22 trillion (2013)
  • GDP per capita: US$24,329 (2013)
  • GDP growth: 2.8 per cent (2013)
  • Population: 50.2 million (2013)
  • Trade with Australia: AU$32.1 billion (2013)

About the Korea-Australia FTA

Minister Robb and his Korean counterpart, Trade Minister Yoon, concluded negotiations on the Australia-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) in early December 2013. The legally verified text of the agreement was initialed by Chief Negotiators on 10 February 2014 and released to the public on 17 February 2014. The Agreement was signed on 8 April 2014 during a ceremony in Seoul, South Korea.

On 13 May 2014, Minister Robb tabled the Agreement in the Australian Parliament, and KAFTA will now be considered by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT).

Australia and Korea have one of the strongest and most complementary trading relationships in the Asia-Pacific region and KAFTA will result in excellent outcomes for Australia.

Map of Korea - quick facts

Map of Korea


The Seoul National Capital Area has 24.5 million inhabitants, making it one of the world’s largest metropolitan markets.


Consistently ranked as one of the world's best airports; Incheon International Airport is a major regional hub.


Renowned as one of the world's largest ports; it can handle up to 13.2 million shipping containers per year.


May 2014

Tabling of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement in the Australian Parliament

Minister Robb tabled the text of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement with the National Interest Analysis in the Australian Parliament on 13 May 2014. The Agreement will now be considered by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT). More information about JSCOT and details on how to make a submission.

The Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee is also conducting an inquiry into KAFTA and is receiving submissions. Further details on the inquiry into KAFTA.

April 2014

Signature of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement

The Minister for Trade and Investment Mr Robb and his South Korean counterpart, the Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy Mr Yoon Sang-jick, signed the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement on 8 April 2014. The ceremony was witnessed by Australian Prime Minister Mr Abbott and his South Korean counterpart, President of South Korea Ms Park Geun-hye.

Media release: Korea-Australia FTA signed in Seoul

February 2014

Release of Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement Text

The text of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) was released by the Trade and Investment Minister on 17 February 2014.

Media release: Public release of Korea-Australia FTA text, 17 February 2014

Korea-Australia FTA Initialled on 10 February 2014

Australian and Korean Chief Negotiators met in Canberra on 10 February to initial the final text of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA), following the conclusion of negotiations in December 2013. Australia and Korea are now preparing for signature of the Agreement, anticipated to take place in the first half of 2014.

Read the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement Joint Statement

Trade Minister Robb at the formal signing of Korea Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) in Seoul.
Formal signing of Korea Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) in Seoul.
Deputy Secretary Jan Adams and Assistant Minister Taehee Woo initialling the final text of the agreement
Deputy Secretary Jan Adams and her Korean counterpart Assistant Minister, Taehee Woo, initial the final text of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

December 2013

Conclusion of Negotiations

On 5 December 2013 Prime Minister Abbott announced the conclusion of negotiations on the Australia-Korea FTA. The agreement will see tariffs of up to 300 per cent eliminated on key Australian agricultural exports such as beef, wheat, sugar, dairy, wine, horticulture and seafood, as well as resources, energy and manufactured goods. It will also provide for opportunities in Korea for Australian services in education, telecommunications, and a range of professional services including financial, accounting and legal services.

Official documents

Here you can locate the full text of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

Table of Contents

The Annexes in chapters 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 20 and 21 are found in the relevant chapters.

Preamble [DOCX 33 KB] | [PDF 70 KB]

  1. Initial Provisions and Definitions [DOCX 37 KB] | [PDF 95 KB]
  2. Trade in Goods [DOCX 37 KB] | [PDF 145 KB]
  3. Rules of Origin and Origin Procedures [DOCX 52 KB] | [PDF 197 KB]
  4. Customs Administration and Trade Facilitation [DOCX 46 KB] | [PDF 151 KB]
  5. Technical Barriers to Trade and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures [DOCX 38 KB] | [PDF 118 KB]
  6. Trade Remedies [DOCX 41 KB] | [PDF 195 KB]
    • Annex 6-A Agricultural Safeguard Measures
  7. Cross-Border Trade in Services [DOCX 44 KB] | [PDF 120 KB]
  8. Financial Services [DOCX 57 KB] | [PDF 222 KB]
    • Annex 8-A Cross-Border Trade
    • Annex 8-B Specific Commitments
  9. Telecommunications [DOCX 50 KB] | [PDF 199 KB]
    • Annex 9-A Suppliers of Public Telecommunications Services
    • Annex 9-B Exemptions from Section C: Additional Obligations Relating to Major Suppliers of Public Telecommunications Networks or Services
  10. Movement of Natural Persons [DOCX 42 KB] | [PDF 222 KB]
    • Annex 10-A Specific Commitments on the Movement of Natural Persons
    • Appendix 10-A-1 List of Contractual Service Suppliers
  11. Investment [DOCX 72 KB] | [PDF 289 KB]
    • Annex 11-A Customary International Law
    • Annex 11-B Expropriation
    • Annex 11-C Transfers
    • Annex 11-D Illustrative List of Australian Residency Requirements
    • Annex 11-E Possibility of a Bilateral Appellate Mechanism
    • Annex 11-F Submission of a Claim to Arbitration
    • Annex 11-G Foreign Investment Policy
    • Annex 11-H Service of Documents on a Party under Section B
    • Annex 11-I Taxation and Expropriation
  12. Government Procurement [DOCX 77 KB] | [PDF 310 KB]
    • Annex 12-A Government Procurement
  13. Intellectual Property Rights [DOCX 73 KB] | [PDF 192 KB]
  14. Competition Policy [DOCX 24 KB] | [PDF 62 KB]
  15. Electronic Commerce [DOCX 37 KB] | [PDF 88 KB]
  16. Cooperation [DOCX 39 KB] | [PDF 50 KB]
  17. Labour [DOCX 31 KB] | [PDF 86 KB]
  18. Environment [DOCX 27 KB] | [PDF 62 KB]
  19. Transparency [DOCX 32 KB] | [PDF 14 KB]
  20. Dispute Resolution [DOCX 53 KB] | [PDF 152 KB]
    • Annex 20-A Code of Conduct
    • Annex 20-B Model Rules of Procedure
      • Attachment to Annex 20-B Model Rules of Procedure for Dispute Settlement Panel Proceedings
  21. Institutional Provisions [DOCX 32 KB] | [PDF 88 KB]
    • Annex 21-A Committees and Working Groups
  22. General Provisions and Exceptions [DOCX 39 KB] | [PDF 25 KB]
  23. Final Provisions [DOCX 34 KB] | [PDF 55 KB]

Non Conforming Measures (Chapters 8, 10 and 11)

Annex I

Explanatory Notes [DOCX 18 KB] | [PDF 80 KB]

Schedule of Australia [DOCX 69 KB] | [PDF 291 KB]

Schedule of Korea [DOCX 131 KB] | [PDF 401 KB]

Annex II

Explanatory Notes [DOCX 23 KB] | [PDF 76 KB]

Schedule of Australia [DOCX 282 KB] | [PDF 282 KB]

Schedule of Korea [DOCX 95 KB] | [PDF 396 KB]

Annex III

Schedule of Australia [DOCX 32 KB] | [PDF 195 KB]

Schedule of Korea [DOCX 60 KB] | [PDF 271 KB]

Side Letters


Exchange of Letters on Geographical Indications

Letters between Ms Jan Adams, Chief Negotiator for Australia, and Mr Taehoo Woo, Chief Negotiator for Korea, providing clarifications on geographical indications.


The Australia-Korea FTA was concluded in early December 2013. Below are the public submissions received during negotiations

Submissions received

Australia-Republic of Korea FTA Study

In April 2008, a joint non-government study into the feasibility of a free trade agreement between Australia and the Republic of Korea was released. The study, conducted by ITS Global, a Melbourne-based trade consultancy, and the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), concluded that a free trade agreement between Australia and Korea that liberalised substantially all barriers to trade and investment offered significant opportunities to further strengthen our highly complementary and growing bilateral trade and investment relationship, and deliver gains to both countries through closer economic integration. Economic modelling undertaken for ITS estimated that a comprehensive FTA covering goods and services trade and investment would increase the present value of real GDP of Australia by US$22.7bn and of Korea by US$29.6bn over the period 2007-2020.

Australia-Republic of Korea Joint Non-Government FTA Study [PDF 805 KB]

Contact us

If you would like to know more about the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement, contact:

  • Email:
  • Phone: (02) 6261 1111
  • Fax: (02) 6261 2187
  • Mail:
    Korea FTA Coordinator
    Free Trade Agreement Division
    Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
    RG Casey Building
    John McEwen Crescent
    Barton ACT 0221