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S. Korea and Israel launch first negotiation for free trade agreement

According to Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea,

South Korea and Israel have launched official talks for a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) in hopes to bolster declining trade between the two nations.

The two countries will have their first round of FTA talks in Seoul for four days starting Monday, Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a statement adding that both sides will discuss a wide range of trade issues involving goods, services, investment, customs, trade facilitation and country-of-origin rules, as well as technology cooperation in various sectors.

The negotiations are led by Korea’s Yeo Han-koo and his Israeli counterpart Netta Bar-El from the Ministry of Economy and Industry in Israel. Delegates from the finance, agriculture and maritime affairs ministry also take part in the talks.

Israel is Korea’s 49th trading partner, with Korea’s exports to Israel amounting to $1.18 billion and imports reaching $870 million last year. The trade volume between the two countries has been on the decrease since 2012.

Korea mainly exports automobiles, mobile communication devices and synthetic resins to Israel while importing semiconductor manufacturing equipment, electronic application devices and aircraft components from the country.

Israel has free trade deals with 41 countries including the United States and the EU. The country has attracted 3.5 percent of the global venture capital and is known to have a prowess in operating programs for supporting startups. Korea has clinched free trade agreements with 51 nations including the United States, the EU and China, according to the Trade, Industry and Energy Ministry.

“A free trade agreement between Korea and Israel will expand bilateral trade and investment significantly between the two countries because we have complementary trade structures,” said Korea’s chief negotiator Yeo Han-koo. “We will make efforts to boost cooperation with Israel in various areas including high-tech industries, startups and agriculture.”

By Kim Gyu-sik

Copyrights Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea. All Rights Reserved.

Source: Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea (Jun. 27, 2016)

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