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China, South Korea Free Trade challenge for agricultureA senior official from the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency has said that a free trade agreement between China and South Korea is likely to precede a planned FTA between China, Japan and South Korea.
The FTA is likely to be concluded first "because research for the bilateral FTA is advanced and the Chinese government has taken an active interest", Park Jin-hyung, KOTRA’s executive vice-president said.
Wang Luo, a researcher from the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, a Ministry of Commerce think tank, said: "China and (South Korea) took a very clear position for the bilateral trade agreement and preparations are ongoing.
"The tr-ilateral trade agreement may be launched during a tri-partite summit in May, but that is subject to change".
Jiang Jiqing, director of the Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs at the ministry, said that the investment agreement "will pave the way" for an FTA between China and South Korea, as well as the trilateral pact.
Park said the arrangement will be a challenge for South Korea's agricultural sectors, though the news is welcome.
Publication date: 4/10/2012
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