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MOTIE to Maintain Open-door Policy in 2014

(SEOUL = Newsis) The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) will maintain its open-door policy and keep pursuing its fundamental principles in 2014 to constantly expand the global free trade agreement (FTA) networks, actively participate in negotiations of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and maintain intimate trade relations with major countries, announced Choi Kyung-lim, Assistant Deputy Minister of MOTIE , on December 23 during a monthly press briefing at the Gwacheon Government Complex.

“In 2014, we need to further expand global FTA networks by effectively carrying out the ongoing FTA negotiations, including the Korea-China FTA,” said Choi. “In the case of the TPP, we will decide whether to participate in the partnership after we complete the bilateral negotiations with participating countries and conduct a comprehensive review of results.”

The minister pledged to actively participate in the multilateral trade negotiations, for the members of the WTO will set up negotiation plans for the Doha Development Agenda during the next year as the follow-up actions of the last WTO Cabinet Meeting. He also said the ministry will decide its strategies against the WTO rice negotiations and delayed tariffication, which is scheduled to end in 2014, after it secures the entire country’s support through open forums and public hearings.

Choi also said, about the current trend of TPP negotiations, that “there are still unsolved major issues despite the efforts of the participating countries and they are unlikely to be settled by the year’s end,” adding that “the negotiation is expected to be completed early next year.”

Before the press briefing, Wendy Cutler, Acting Deputy of the United States Trade Representative, stressed that Korea needs to take action to resolve the following issues before the country joins the TPP: Customs origin verification, sharing of the client database of financial firms, non-tariff barrier in the automobile industry and organic goods certification systems.

“Issues that Ms. Cutler mentioned were often raised in the trade negotiations between Korea and the United States. We have discussed the issues with the relevant authorities in Korea and parties of the U.S. and we have made much progress. We will continue negotiations to resolve the issues,” said Choi.

Source Text

Source: Newsis (Dec. 23, 2013)

** This article was translated from the Korean.
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