South Korean, U.S. Free-Trade Agreement Will Boost Asian Country's Economic Growth

South Korea's real GDP could grow by a cumulative 6 percent over the next decade, according to state-run research institutes.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - South Korea's free-trade agreement with the United States will likely boost the Asian nation's economic growth by a cumulative 6 percent over the next decade, state-run research institutes said Monday.

Implementing the agreement ''will raise (South) Korea's real GDP by 6.0 percent ... or by 0.6 percent on average annually for the next 10 years,'' the institutes said in a joint report.

The Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, the Korea Development Institute and the Korea Institute of Finance were among 11 government-funded institutes that cooperated to assess the economic effects of the agreement.

The agreement, which negotiators concluded earlier this month after 10 months of intense talks, needs to be ratified by the legislatures of both countries to take effect.

The study was submitted to a special committee of the South Korean National Assembly that is reviewing the free-trade agreement, South Korea's largest-ever and the biggest for the U.S. since the North American Free Trade Agreement more than a decade ago.

The institutes also said the agreement will help South Korea create 34,000 more jobs a year on average for the next 10 years in the manufacturing and service sectors. The agriculture sector will lose 1,000 jobs a year, the report said.

Over the next decade, South Korea's trade surplus with the U.S. will likely expand by an average $460 million a year, the report said.

South Korea's trade deficit in agriculture with the U.S. will expand by $270 million a year on average for the coming decade, according to the report, meaning U.S. farm imports - excluding key products like rice - will pour into South Korea.

South Korea's manufacturing sector trade surplus with the U.S. will grow by $750 million a year, according to the findings.