Chinese premier calls for acceleration of 2nd-phase FTA talks between China, South Korea
Published: Aug 25, 2022 07:08 PM Updated: Aug 25, 2022 07:06 PM

China South Korea Photo:VCG

China South Korea Photo:VCG

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday called for China and South Korea to speed up the second-phase of negotiations on their bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) and strengthen cooperation in areas such as industrial and supply chains, advanced manufacturing and climate change.

Premier Li made the remarks on Wednesday in a congratulatory letter via video to a business forum marking the 30th anniversary of the two countries establishing diplomatic relations, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

As the international and regional landscape undergoes profound and complex change and the global economy faces growing uncertainties and instability, peace and stability is the defining trend, and development and prosperity are the common aspirations of the people, Premier Li said.

“The Chinese side is willing to join hands with the South Korean side to strive for development and common prosperity for the next 30 years,” he said.

Premier Li called for the two countries to adhere to multilateralism and economic globalization, and jointly maintain safe and functioning industrial and supply chains. 

Li called for taking advantage of the opportunities brought about by the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to benefit enterprises and people of every RCEP member and injecting new impetus to regional development and prosperity.

After establishing diplomatic relations, economic and trade cooperation between the two countries witnessed steady, healthy and rapid development. China is South Korea’s largest trade partner and largest export market, while South Korea is China’s third-largest trading partner and its second-largest source of foreign direct investment.

Despite the protracted impact of COVID-19, bilateral trade reached $362 billion in 2021, up 26.9 percent year-on-year. By the end of 2021, South Korea’s actual investment in China accumulated to $90 billion, according to data released by Chinese authorities.

Premier Li stated that China’s commitment to opening-up will not change and the country will only open its door wider to the world.

Li said that the country aims to foster a market-oriented, world-class business environment governed by a sound legal framework, and China will always be a fertile land for foreign companies to invest in and set up business operations. China welcomes foreign enterprises, including companies from South Korea, to continue investing in China, share the country’s development opportunities and launch new cooperation.