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China Daily Website

S Korea, China start 8th round of FTA talks

Updated: 2013-11-18 11:02
( Xinhua)

SEOUL - South Korea and China on Monday launched the eighth round of talks for a bilateral free trade deal, Seoul's trade ministry said.

The five-day talks, or the first for the second-stage negotiations, were held at the Songdo international business district in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of the country's capital Seoul, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy ( MOTIE).

The two neighbors completed the first-stage negotiations in early September with a total of seven rounds of talks, agreeing on the modality, or basic guidelines for the Sino-Korea FTA.

Based on the first-phase talks, the second-stage negotiations will discuss items that will be liberalized by lowering or removing tariff barriers.

In the previous round of talks, Seoul and Beijing tentatively agreed to abolish tariffs on 90 percent of all products in terms of the number of items, and 85 percent of imports in terms of their monetary value.

China is South Korea's No 1 trading partner, with Seoul's exports to Beijing accounting for a quarter of the total in 2012. Since the two neighbors established diplomatic ties in 1992, their annual trade has grown almost 50 times and reached $256 billion in 2012.