ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey and South Korea have signed a free trade agreement as Turkey seeks better trade ties with Asian countries.

Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan says Wednesday's agreement is designed to improve trade with South Korea, which exported goods worth about $6.3 billion to Turkey in 2011 while importing goods worth $529 million. The deal will go into effect at the end of 2012.

Caglayan says Turkey is also preparing to sign a similar deal with Malaysia and negotiating a deal with Japan.