FTAwith S. Korea one step nearer com­ple­tion

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

im­ple­men­tit as rapidly as pos­si­ble by get­ting ap­proval from the par­lia­ment,” said a press re­lease is­sued by South Korea’s Min­istry of Trade, In­dus­try and En­ergy.

Un­der the FTA, which was ini­tialed and ex­changed with China’sMin­istry­ofCom­merce in Bei­jing, the two agreed to of­fer pref­er­en­tial treat­ment to each other’s fi­nan­cial com­pa­nies and es­tab­lish a joint or­ga­ni­za­tion to deal with bi­lat­eral busi­ness is­sues.

Zhao Zhongxiu, a trade pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­sity of In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness and Eco­nomics in Bei­jing, said the FTAwill­be­comeSouthKorea’s most sig­nif­i­cant trade pact be­cause China is al­ready its largest trad­ing part­ner.

South Korea has set a goal of bi­lat­eral trade with­China of $300 bil­lion in 2015.

China is one of the world’s fastest-grow­ing economies, whose GDP ex­pands more than 7 per­cent each year, the South Korean min­istry said, not­ing that South Korea has gained a chance to make in­roads into the large, fast­grow­ing mar­ket by ini­tial­ing the pact.

“The deal will be a new stim­u­lus and growth en­gine for the South Korean econ­omy,” said Zhao.

Un­der the pact, South Korea will elim­i­nate tar­iffs on 79 per­cent of all prod­ucts, or 9,690 items, from China within 10 years af­ter the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the treaty.

In re­turn, China will re­move tar­iffs on 71 per­cent of all South Korean prod­ucts, or 5,846 items.

Gu Xue­bin, vice-pres­i­dent of the Bei­jing-based Chi­nese Academy of In­ter­na­tional Trade and Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion, a think tank of theMin­istry of Com­merce, said that the China-South Korea FTA will pro­vide the means and the im­pe­tus for progress to­ward a China-Ja­pan-South Korea FTA and a Re­gional Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship.

WANG JING / CHINA DAILY

A South Korean firm’s stand at the China Fran­chise Expo in Bei­jing. South Korea plans to raise bi­lat­eral trade with China to $300 bil­lion this year.

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