Date
11 December 2017
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his South Korean counterpart Park Geun-hye are all smiles during their meeting at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Beijing on Monday. Photo: Xinhua
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his South Korean counterpart Park Geun-hye are all smiles during their meeting at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Beijing on Monday. Photo: Xinhua

China, South Korea conclude substantial talks on free trade deal

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his South Korean counterpart Park Geun-hye have confirmed the conclusion of substantial negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement in a meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Beijing on Monday, Ming Pao Daily reported.

Under the deal, over 90 percent of goods traded between China and South Korea will enjoy zero tariff over the next 20 years, the report said, adding that the two-way trade has reached more than US$200 billion annually.  

On agricultural produce, the two countries will exempt duties on more than 70 percent of such goods, accounting for 40 percent of bilateral trade, the report said.

Automobiles and rice are not yet covered in the deal.

The two countries have also reached cooperation agreements in services, investment, finance and telecommunications.

President Xi hailed the FTA as a milestone in promoting Asia-Pacific regional integration.

Analysts say the deal will open the huge Chinese market to South Korea and help boost its economic growth.

The agreement is expected to take effect in the first half of 2015 after talks on technical details are completed and approvals secured, the report said.

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