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South Korea, EU to begin free trade talks next week

South Korea, EU to begin free trade talks next week

South Korea and the European Union will begin talks next week here aimed at forging a free trade agreement, South Korea's Ministry of Finance and Economy said Tuesday.
South Korean officials in related ministries and departments held a meeting Tuesday presided over by Minister of Finance and Economy Kwon O-kyu to approve initiating the talks with the EU, the ministry said in a statement.
The first negotiating session will be held May 7-11 in Seoul.
EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson is expected to visit Seoul ahead of the first session to formally announce the beginning of talks with South Korea's Minister for Trade Kim Hyun-chong on Sunday, the ministry said.
The announcement of the first round of negotiations comes after South Korea concluded its biggest ever free trade deal last month with the United States. That deal still requires approval by legislatures in the two countries to take effect.
According to the ministry statement, South Korea expects to benefit mostly in trade in manufactured goods in sectors such areas automobiles and electronics if an agreement is reached with the EU.
The ministry added that the two sides will hold five to six more sessions this year with the goal of reaching an agreement as soon as possible. South Korea and the EU don't have a deadline to reach an agreement.


Updated : 2021-04-14 19:45 GMT+08:00