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S. Korea, Thailand agree to launch trade talks

According to Yonhap News,

South Korea's trade ministry said Thursday it has agreed with Thailand to kick off negotiations on a comprehensive economic partnership as the country aims to expand its presence in the Southeast Asian region.

Deputy Minister for FTA Negotiations Roh Keon-ki met Thai Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai in Bangkok to establish a "future-oriented relationship" with the Southeast Asian nation through an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

An EPA is meant to establish a mutually beneficial trade network with partner nations beyond a simple market opening, though it covers a smaller scope of areas compared with a traditional free trade agreement.

"The two nations have committed to engaging in discussions aimed at achieving a heightened level of market openness in goods and services, in addition to areas, such as economic cooperation, digital advancements and government procurement," the ministry said.

The envisioned EPA will help South Korea expand its exports while advancing bilateral cooperation in the supply chain, biotechnology and green economy as well, it added.

Seoul and Bangkok agreed to make preparations for negotiations by the first half of this year and launch the first round of talks "at an early date."

Earlier this week, the trade ministry also agreed with Malaysia to resume their bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) talks that have been stalled since 2019.

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Source: Yonhap News (March 28, 2024)

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