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S. Korea, India to hold talks on trade deal improvement

According to Yonhap News,

(SEOUL=Yonhap News) South Korea and India will hold a new round of talks on the improvement of a bilateral trade deal in Seoul this week, the commerce ministry here said Wednesday.

The third-round meeting to improve the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is scheduled to start in Seoul on Thursday for a two-day run, the ministry said. CEPA is a type of free trade agreement that emphasizes two-way economic cooperation on top of market opening.

In 2010, the two Asian economic powerhouses implemented the CEPA, which calls for eliminating or cutting tariffs on goods over the next 10 years. In June last year, the countries began official talks to improve the trade agreement.

In previous talks, South Korea and India discussed ways to further liberalize such sectors as goods, country of origin and services.

The upcoming round of talks will be focused on accelerating the improvement of concessions on goods and services and country-of-origin standards, the ministry said, adding efforts will be made to produce tangible results within this year.

The ministry said the CEPA improvement talks are expected to help diversify bilateral trade and South Korea's investment in India with huge growth potential amid an uncertain international trade climate, including growing protectionism.

Two-way trade reached US$15.8 billion in 2016, with India becoming South Korea's sixth-largest export destination. South Korea is Asia's fourth-largest economy after China, India and Japan.

On Tuesday, meanwhile, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) opened a three-day trade fair in New Delhi to present Korean products in a wide range of sectors. The fair is Korea's largest business event held in India after the two countries started implementing CEPA, the ministry said.

With its nominal GDP of $2.45 trillion, the world's sixth-largest economy has emerged as an attractive alternative to Korean businesses, which have faced negative sentiment and tight regulations in China following Seoul's deployment of an American missile defense system opposed by Beijing.

South Korea's leading industry players, including Samsung Electronics Co., LG Electronics Inc. and Hyundai Motors Co., as well as 93 small and medium-sized companies in the electronics, vehicle, household goods and cosmetics sectors will showcase their products, the ministry said.

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Source: Yonhap News (Sep. 20, 2017)
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