Yonhap News Agency | 12 March 2018
South Korea, Israel to hold 6th round of FTA talks
Seoul: South Korea and Israel are set to hold a sixth round of free trade agreement (FTA) talks aimed at boosting bilateral economic exchanges and investment, the government said Monday.
A South Korean delegation will visit Jerusalem from Tuesday through Thursday to discuss various trade issues involving manufactured goods, services and investment, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said.
The two nations began FTA talks in May 2015 and followed up with five rounds of negotiations, but they have not yet been able to finalize the pact.
"We will try to strike a balance of interests between the two nations to reach a deal as soon as possible," Kim Ki-june, a senior ministry official leading the delegation, said in a release.
According to government data, two-way trade reached US$2.43 billion in 2017. South Korea’s main export items include autos, wireless communication equipment and synthetic resins, while it mainly imports chipmaking equipment and applied electronics products and parts.
Israel has signed free trade deals with over 40 countries, including the United States. The country also has 3.5 percent of the world’s venture capital and is known for running a variety of support programs for tech startups.
South Korea has clinched a series of FTAs with major trading partners in recent years, including the United States and China, as part of efforts to bolster economic growth.