S. Korea, India to hold talks on trade deal improvement

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Yonhap | 19 December 2017

S. Korea, India to hold talks on trade deal improvement

South Korea and India will hold a new round of talks on the improvement of a bilateral trade deal this week, the commerce ministry here said Tuesday.

The fourth-round meeting to improve the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is scheduled to start in New Delhi on Wednesday for a two-day run, the ministry said.

CEPA is a type of free trade agreement that emphasizes two-way economic cooperation on top of market opening.

In 2010, the two Asian economic powerhouses implemented the CEPA, which calls for eliminating or cutting tariffs on goods over the next decade. In June last year, the countries began official talks to improve the trade agreement.

In previous talks, South Korea and India discussed ways to further liberalize such sectors as goods, country of origin and services.

The upcoming round of talks will be focused on accelerating the improvement of concessions on goods and services and country-of-origin standards, the ministry said.

The CEPA improvement talks are expected to help diversify bilateral trade and South Korea’s investment in India. The country has huge growth potential as the international trade climate becomes uncertain in the face of growing protectionism trends, the ministry said.

Two-way trade reached US$15.8 billion in 2016, with India becoming South Korea’s sixth-largest export destination, according to the government data.

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