Korea-China FTA service and investment follow-up negotiations were held at chief delegate-level on July 13 via teleconferencing, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) said on July 13.
MOTIE’s chief FTA negotiator Lee Kyung-sik led the Korean delegation, and Director-General Yu Benlin of China’s Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs led the Chinese delegation, adding up to 20 attendees in total.
The two countries have held nine negotiation rounds and meetings since March in 2018 when the Korea-China FTA service industry officialized follow-up negotiations.
As enforced in December 2015, the Korea-China FTA guidelines call for high levels of freedom in trade of service and investment, and the two countries have closely negotiated on this basis.
COVID-19 and the need for prompt enactment of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) ended up delaying the follow-up talks in part, but since the beginning of this year, South Korea and China have been building on the momentum of opening their markets, a move all the more empowered by the RCEP enforcement.
Future negotiations in service and investment industries will focus on enhancing mutual market opening and bilateral cooperation.
During the teleconference, both sides focused on assessing their current status of implementation conditions, exchanging stances on each negotiation area and topic, and general direction for future negotiations and schedules.
Subsequent to this chief delegate-level meeting, Korea and China will carry on their line of talks through working-level meetings and keep concentrating on opening markets of their interest and bilateral cooperation.
Chief negotiator Lee emphasized, “These FTA service and investment follow-up negotiations serve as an important opportunity for both countries to reach mutually beneficial gains and deepen Korea-China economic and trade relations.”
He added, “The ministry will thoroughly review China’s position as expressed during the exchange” and engage fully in all negotiations.