Saturday, August 8, 2009

South Korea and India ink free-trade pact

We take a break from the Stockholm Report™ to bring you news that South Korea and India have signed an "ambitious" free-trade agreement.

According to the WaPo, the new Korindo FTA (that's what I am going to call it) "slashes tariffs, encourages investment and promotes exchange of skills in a bid to double fast-growing commerce between two of Asia's biggest economies over the next decade."

Great news. Anything that breaks China's cojone grip monopoly on cheap goods of reasonable quality is a good thing, especially if it makes South Korea less beholden to Beijing, politically speaking, which ties Seoul's hands when dealing with North Korea. Now if Tokyo will do the same thing with India, that would be even better. 

I've long been dismayed how democratic countries — the US, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Europe — have ignored China's wholesale human rights abuse and lack of democratic progress because they need cheap televisions. India is a democracy — the largest in the world by population — and yet they were given short shrift when East Asian countries would seek to set up factories. It was China by default, and maybe now that will change. 

("India ink"... Do you see how I did that?)

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