(LEAD) S. Korea, India to resume talks on upgrading trade pact next month

(ATTN: ADDS more details, comments in paras 6-11)

SEOUL, Jan. 12 (Yonhap) — South Korea and India have agreed to resume negotiations to upgrade their bilateral trade pact next month after more than two years of hiatus, Seoul’s trade ministry said Wednesday.

The two nations implemented the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in January 2010 and began talks to upgrade the pact in 2015.

But negotiations have been suspended since June 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other issues.

South Korea’s Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo and India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal met on Tuesday in New Delhi and agreed to hold official talks for the upgrade of the pact within next month, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The envisioned talks are expected to focus on ways to further open up the goods and services market and ease country of origin rules so as to better reflect their changing trade and business circumstances.

“The revised pact is expected to serve as a chance for the two countries to expand bilateral cooperation in supply chains, climate change, vaccine and other new issues,” the ministry said in a release.

“It is also expected to boost transparency in bilateral trade terms and to maintain communication channels between the two sides so as to help resolve difficulties for our businesses,” it added.

For South Korea, the new pact will also carry significance as it could make up for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), according to the ministry.

South Korea inked the pact with 14 nations last year — 10 member nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. India had participated in negotiations for the mega trade pact but dropped out of them in 2019.

Yeo is in India for a four-day trip from Monday, during which he met with officials and experts from major economic institutions and state-run think tanks in India to explore ways to jointly respond to emerging trade issues and to boost economic cooperation.

“India is one of our key partners for the New Southern Policy. This face-to-face meeting with the Indian minister, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, will help keep up momentum for bilateral cooperation down the road,” Yeo said.

Two-way trade stood at an all-time high of US$23.6 billion in 2021, according to government data. During a summit meeting held in July 2018, President Moon Jae-in and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed to more than double their bilateral trade to over $50 billion by 2030.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

thirty six  ⁄    =  9