Korea, China hold high-level economic talks

Korea, China hold high-level economic talks

Korea and China held their high-level economic talks Wednesday as they seek to capitalize on their free trade agreement (FTA) that took effect last year, a key framework to boost bilateral economic cooperation.

Second Vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul and Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Gao Yan led the joint economic committee session to discuss the implementation of the bilateral open trade pact and recent trends in the global economy and the economies of the two countries.

In their opening remarks, the senior official painted a positive outlook for bilateral economic cooperation, underscoring the FTA, which was effectuated in December, marked a milestone in the two countries’ economic ties.

“With the FTA taking effect last year, the two countries established an institutional framework for comprehensive, stable management (of economic cooperation),” Cho said in his opening remarks. “Based on this achievement, this year should offer a chance for bilateral economic cooperation to be elevated to a higher level.”

The Chinese vice minister said that the bilateral FTA would bring about mutually beneficial benefits for both nations.

“With the leaders of the two nations taking interest in the FTA, the two sides have already reduced tariffs twice, leaving a historic mark in the bilateral trade relations,” she said. “The FTA will bring in greater benefits for peoples of both nations and would contribute to regional peace and world economy as well.”

The joint economic committee was launched in 1993 shortly after the sides established diplomatic ties and has met on a regular basis at the vice ministerial level. Wednesday’s meeting was the 21st round.

China is the world’s single largest importer of Korean goods, accounting for nearly one-fourth of Korea’s total outbound shipments.

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