South Korea and China sign FTA
South Korea and China have signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Chinese President Xi Jinping said “Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, the trade volume of both countries increased over the past 23 years from USD 5 billion to USD 290.5 billion. The volume of mutual investment also multiplied, from USD 0.11 billion to USD 61.64 billion.”
The South Korean government has also asked the parliament to ratify bilateral free trade agreements with Vietnam and New Zealand.
The South Korean government announcement about the China FTA as published on the government website is as follows:
“Korea, China officially sign FTA
Korea and China officially signed a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) on June 1 in Seoul. Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Yoon Sang-jick and Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng held an FTA-signing ceremony at the Grand Hyatt Seoul.
Leaders of the two countries exchanged signed letters to celebrate the signing of the free trade pact. They hoped that the free trade deal would take effect and be implemented smoothly in the near future.
The signed letters were disclosed after the Chinese commerce minister visited Cheong Wa Dae to convey the letter from Chinese President Xi Jinping to President Park Guen-hye prior to the FTA-signing.
In the letter, President Park told her Chinese counterpart that she is, “very happy that the bilateral free trade deal has been officially signed after reaching an agreement in the trade negotiations last November.” She said that, “both Korea and China have been developing a friendly, close relationship by making remarkable advancements in the cooperative relationship since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992.”
“The Korea-China FTA will be a new framework for future cooperation,” said President Park. She predicted that, “the Korea-China FTA will lift the cooperative relationship which both countries have established up a notch.”
President Park also underlined the fact that, “The Korea-China FTA proposes the future direction of bilateral cooperation in a strategic, long-term perspective, not just focusing on the opening of the markets for goods and services. This will become a historical milestone which will further deepen the strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping said that, “Korea and China are geographically close and share a lot in common in terms of the humanities. They are also mutually compatible in terms of the economy.”
“Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, the trade volume of both countries increased over the past 23 years from USD 5 billion to USD 290.5 billion. The volume of mutual investment also multiplied, from USD 0.11 billion to USD 61.64 billion,” said the Chinese leader.
He also added that, “China is already Korea’s largest trade partner and its largest destination for investment. Korea is China’s third largest trade partner and is the fifth largest investor in China.“
President Xi praised the bilateral free trade deal by saying that, “the Korea-China FTA will lead to another big leap forward in the commercial relationship of the two countries. It will bring substantial benefits to the peoples of both countries. The pact will also greatly contribute to the economic integration of East Asia, the Asia-Pacific region and the development of the world economy.”