Korea Times, 10-17-2005
BOK Head Calls for FTAs in N-E Asia
By Kim Jae-kyoung
The nation’s top central banker Monday stressed the need for speeding up the formation of free trade agreements (FTAs) among Korea, China and Japan, to boost regional cooperation and mutual investment. In a lecture given to students at Nankai University in Tianjin, China, Bank of Korea Governor Park Seung suggested that the three nations make joint efforts to form a regional cooperation body in Northeast Asia.
“We should establish a regional economic cooperation body like European Union and North America Free Trade Agreement to make the 21st century the era of Northeast Asia,” Park said.
“Also, more efforts should be made to strengthen cooperation in the financial sector to support collaboration in the real economic sector,” he added. “For a stable financial system, continuing cooperation among central banks is essential.”
Park also said that the rapid growth of China has been a threat to Korea, but it also can be an opportunity to the nation.
“Given the industrialization of the Chinese economy is dealing a blow to the Korea’s labor-intensive small businesses, China is considered one of the key factors behind the economic polarization the Korean economy is being faced with,” he said.
“Still, the opening of the large Chinese market and robust growth of its economy has contributed to the nation’s exports growth, underpinning the expansion of major industries,” he added.