FTA will help China and the ROK, minister says

Updated: 2013-10-29 17:40

By Cai Xiao (chinadaily.com.cn)

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China and the Republic of Korea should explore the advantage of complementary industries and a China-ROK free trade agreement will be beneficial for both parties, former ROK deputy prime minister and Minister of Finance Jeon Yun-churl told China Daily on Monday in Beijing.

China's great importance to the Republic of Korea was highlighted when President Park Geun-hye chose China as her second country to visit in June after taking office earlier this year, Jeon said.

"China and the ROK have a similar industry structure and different advantages. So it is vital for the two nations to have good relations and learn from each other," said Jeon.

He added that the two nations can expand cooperation in emerging industries with high added-value.

Free trade negotiations between China and the ROK began on May 2, 2012. The talks are supposed to be completed in two stages.

"If the China-ROK free trade agreement is reached, the FTA will significantly improve bilateral trade volume," said Jeon.

China is the ROK's largest trading partner, largest market for exports and largest source of imports and investment, while the ROK is China's third-largest trading partner.

Bilateral trade volume passed $250 billion in 2012, compared with about $6 billion in 1992, when China and the ROK established diplomatic ties.

Bilateral trade between the two countries in the first half of 2013 totaled $132.3 billion, increasing 8.4 percent year-on-year, according to the General Administration of Customs.