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S. Korea seeks to reach more free trade deals: official

According to Yonhap News,

(SEJONG/ISTANBUL=Yonhap News) South Korea is seeking more free trade pacts and is committed to the establishment of a global value chain, the country's vice trade minister has said.


Speaking at a two-day G-20 trade ministers meeting which ended in Istanbul on Tuesday, Vice Minister Moon Jae-do said that following the 2008 global financial crisis, heightened uncertainty and volatility have become the "new normal" on the international stage.

"Asia's fourth-largest economy is seeking to reach more free trade agreements (FTA) with partner countries that can facilitate trade, and pushing to vitalize electronic commerce around the world," Moon was quoted as saying.

Due to such developments, leading economies should consider the repercussions their various national policies can have on other countries, he said, adding countries must act cautiously and think comprehensively.

Seoul already has FTAs with the United States, the European Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and is waiting ratification of its open trade agreement with China.

Moon said that with half of South Korea's exports being industrial parts and materials that require technology transfers, the country is "naturally" contributing to that global value chain that is critical for helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

"South Korea, as the leading member of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation SME working group, is doing its part to include more smaller businesses into the global value chain," he said.

The official said that South Korea supports the implementation of the Bali Package and will continue to back efforts by the World Trade Organization (WTO) that is striving for more open trade.

The Bali Package reached in 2013 aims to lower global trade barriers and is the first agreement by the WTO that has been approved by all its members.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said that officials at the latest trade minister meeting agreed on the need for all WTO members to ratify the Trade Facilitation Agreement and to do more to roll-back standstill measures that have been cited for hindering trade in the past.

Copyrights Yonhap News. All Rights Reserved.

Source Text

Source: Yonhap News (Oct. 07, 2015)

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