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S. Korea, New Zealand fail to make breakthrough in latest FTA talks

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Yonhap | 2014/08/08

S. Korea, New Zealand fail to make breakthrough in latest FTA talks

SEJONG, Aug. 8 (Yonhap) — The latest round of negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) between South Korea and New Zealand has ended without a significant breakthrough as the countries remained divided over the agriculture market, the South Korean government said Friday.

The countries, having agreed on some areas, decided to "narrow their differences over other areas by exchanging their views through letters," the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a press release.

"But in the area of products, they failed to reach an agreement due to a wide gap between the two countries over the level of market opening for our country’s agriculture and fishery markets," it said.

The same issue had caused the two parties to suspend their FTA talks for more than four years since May 2010.

They "reached a consensus that the conclusion of the Korea-New Zealand FTA talks will be possible once the gap over the remaining issue in the products sector is removed," the ministry said.

Negotiators were not able to set a date for the next round of talks, it said.

The countries have held three rounds of FTA talks since they were resumed early this year after a four-year suspension. The talks were first launched in June 2009. The latest round, the eighth of its kind, was held in Seoul since Monday.

bdk@yna.co.kr


 source: Yonhap