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S. Korea, Chile Discuss Ways to Boost Economic Ties Marking 20th Anniv. Of FTA

South Korea and Chile discussed ways Thursday to boost bilateral cooperation on a wider range of economic and industry fields as they marked the 20th anniversary of a bilateral tree trade agreement (FTA), Seoul’s industry ministry said.

Some 100 government and corporate officials from the two nations held an economic cooperation committee meeting in Seoul and exchanged opinions on how to work together on such new sectors as supply chains, digital economy, and new renewable energy resources, according to the Ministry of Trade Industry and Energy.

This year marked the 20th anniversary of signing the bilateral FTA, and two-way trade had surged more than fivefold from $1.5 billion in 2004 to about $8.3 billion last year.

Chile is South Korea’s first free trade deal partner, and South Korea is the first FTA partner for Chile among Asian nations.

“The two nations have complementary industry structures and the FTA has greatly contributed to boosting their trade,” Keum Hye-yoon, an expert of the Korean Institute for International Economic Policy, said during the meeting.

“The two sides will be able to further bolster their trade and exchanges by removing non-tariff barriers and enhancing cooperation on supply chains, digital economy and energy fields in line with changing global circumstances,” the researcher added.

South Korea’s Industry Minister Bang Moon-kyu and Chile’s economic minister, Nicolas Grau, attended the meeting and asked their businesspeople to play a greater role in developing bilateral relations.

Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun held separate talks with Grau on ways to cooperate on supply chains of critical minerals and green energy resources.

He also asked for Chile’s support for South Korea’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo in the southern port city of Busan, the ministry said.

Source: Yonhap News