SEOUL, Sept. 11 (Korea Bizwire) – Increasing roadblocks on the path towards the Chinese economic heartland and a disquieting back and forth with the United States over the KORUS FTA has pushed the South Korean government to grow its trade with India and South Asian nations.
According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Minister for Trade Kim Hyun Chong was in Manila last week for a conference attended by ASEAN trade officials.
In his keynote address, Kim emphasized the Moon administration’s desire for South Korea’s relationship with the ASEAN to grow in strength comparable to that of the peninsular nation’s relationship with China, Russia, Japan and the United States.
Kim proposed the utilization of ‘Hallyu’ in cross-national cultural collaborations, co-investment in the ASEAN healthcare industry, collaborative measures to prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the provision of greater support to the ASEAN-ROK Business Council’s activities as areas for greater cooperation.
He also told the officials in attendance that the list of recipients of South Korea’s TASK initiative, a framework for passing on industrial technology to developing countries, has been revised to include Cambodia and the Philippines.
The Ministry added that the third protocol revisions of the ASEAN-Korea FTA that dealt chiefly with regulations on trade facilitation and reciprocity had gone into effect in South Korea and eight ASEAN nations.
Both sides also agreed to make efforts to speed up ongoing discussions on further liberalizing trade.
During his time abroad, Kim met with Korean CEOs who had entered into business in foreign nations, and discussed the various difficulties and economic outlook of each country.
The minister reportedly promised them that the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry would strongly push for a committee for Korean businesspeople in ASEAN member nations to be formed by November.
Referencing the increasing targeting of South Korean companies with anti-dumping duties and safeguards, Kim urged the Indian representative for a resolution to ensure future growth in the trade relationship between both nations.
In response to the Vietnamese representative’s request for action in regards to its trade deficit with South Korea, Kim attributed the cause to the influx of Korean companies into Vietnam and their imports of raw materials from Korea.