Business / Economy

S.Korea, China upgrade partnership on trade, finance

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-08-21 10:22

SEOUL - South Korea and China have upgraded the bilateral partnership since the two nations set up diplomatic relations in 1992, especially on areas of trade, finance and culture, a South Korean think tank said Thursday.

After Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Seoul in July, the neighbors strengthened their strategic cooperative partnership, upgrading the quality of bilateral economic cooperation and widening communication channels both politically and diplomatically, the Hyundai Research Institute (HRI) said in a report.

The report said Xi's visit to South Korea drove Seoul and Beijing to enter a new era of "politically warmer and economically hotter," noting that it would be meaningful as this year marks the 22nd anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties on Aug 24, 1992.

Since that day, trade between South Korea and China surged some 36-fold from $6.4 billion in 1992 to $228.9 billion in 2013, equaling to an annual average increase of 19 percent.

China has become South Korea's largest trade partner since 2004, and in 2013, South Korea was China's fourth-largest partner for trade.

The bilateral trade has been qualitatively upgraded as main trade items changed from low value-added products such as textiles and cement to high-end goods, including semiconductors, synthetic resins and oil products.

Financial and monetary cooperation has been strengthened. Central banks of the two countries signed a currency swap deal worth 180 billion yuan ($29 billion) in December 2008, before expanding the contract to 360 billion yuan in October 2011. Also, the countries agreed to open a market to trade their currencies directly in Seoul as early as within this year.

South Korea's exports of cultural contents, including K-Pop or soap opera, to China rose from $581 million in 2009 to $1.29 billion in 2012, equivalent to an annual average expansion of 28.4 percent. The portion of content exports to China accounted for 27.6 percent of the total in 2012, up from 24.5 percent in 2010.

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