South Korea, UAE agree to push for free trade deal - Korea Times
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South Korea, UAE agree to push for free trade deal

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In this 2019 February file photo, President Moon Jae-in and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi walk toward the venue of a welcoming event for the crown prince at Cheong Wa Dae. Yonhap
In this 2019 February file photo, President Moon Jae-in and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi walk toward the venue of a welcoming event for the crown prince at Cheong Wa Dae. Yonhap

South Korea and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced Thursday that they will launch official talks toward a bilateral free trade agreement, Seoul's trade ministry said.

Trade Minister Yeon Han-koo met his UAE counterpart, Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, in Dubai, and issued a joint statement that calls for pushing to forge a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The CEPA is a type of free trade agreement that emphasizes a broader scope of economic cooperation and exchanges on top of market opening.

"The UAE is South Korea's key partner country under 'the special strategic partnership' and the two nations have been working closely on energy fields and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic," Yeo said. "The CEPA is expected to further boost transactions and investment in bio, aerospace, hydrogen and renewable energy, and many other fields."

South Korea's trade volume with the UAE stood at $9.4 billion as of 2020.

The trade ministry said it will soon begin due domestic procedures to initiate the talks with the UAE, though it did not provide a specific timeframe.

South Korea has clinched a series of free trade agreements with major trading partners, including the United States, China, as well as Chile, Peru, Colombia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), in recent years as part of its efforts to boost growth in the country's export-driven economy.

ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam. (Yonhap)




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