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China, SKorea hold 5th FTA meeting

THE fifth Joint Commission on the China-South Korea free trade agreement (FTA) was held on Monday in Beijing, said China’s Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom). Both sides pledged to further strengthen bilateral trade and industrial chain integration.

The two sides reviewed the implementation of the China-South Korea FTA and praised the contribution of the agreement to the integration of the industrial and supply chains of the two countries, as well as the boost for economic growth.

During the meeting, officials from China and South Korea reviewed the operation of trade in goods, rules of origin, technical barriers to trade and economic cooperation under the FTA, and discussed topics such as South Korea’s customs clearance efficiency for e-commerce merchandise, electronic device authentication and code sorting for some agricultural products, said Mofcom.

The two sides agreed to deepen cooperation in industrial and supply chains and accelerate the second phase of negotiations in order to benefit enterprises and people in both countries.

The two countries also pledged to conduct joint research targeting the implementation and upgrading of the bilateral FTA, said Mofcom.

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Views were also exchanged on establishing a bilateral export control dialogue mechanism, and an industrial and supply chain hotline.

The commission was co-chaired by China’s Vice Minister of Commerce and International Trade Representative Wang Shouwen and South Korea’s Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun. It was also attended by officials from other government departments from China and South Korea.

The China-South Korea FTA officially came into effect on Dec. 20, 2015, and the two countries have cut bilateral tariffs nine times, generating significant business dividends and increasing the utility rate of the agreement. The 10th tariff cut will take place on Jan. 1, 2024, said Mofcom.

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