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Investment crucial for KORUS FTA success: official

Yonhap News, Korea

Investment crucial for KORUS FTA success: official

19 January 2013

SEJONG, Jan. 19 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s vice finance minister on Saturday stressed the importance of boosting investment between Seoul and Washington to fully utilize their free trade agreement.

Vice Finance Minister Shin Je-yoon asked business leaders in the United States to increase investment and closely cooperate with Seoul in order to take full advantage of their free trade deal and ensure that it will be a success, Seoul’s finance ministry said.

The free trade accord known as the KORUS FTA, signed in 2007 and ratified by lawmakers in both countries, came into effect March 15, 2012, and is one of the most ambitious deals that South Korea has ever finalized.

"The KORUS FTA will help boost investment and trade between the two countries, creating more jobs and bringing about economic recovery," Shin said, adding that the deal could help the two countries pull out of the prolonged economic downturn.

The vice finance minister also said that downside risks to growth still persist even as concerns over the U.S. fiscal cliff were resolved.

A set of economic data in advanced economies showed some improvement, but the global economy still faces growth risks, he said.

On Tuesday, the World Bank cut its global economy outlook to 2.4 percent this year from its earlier estimate of 3 percent as tepid economic growth in advanced economies is holding back the global recovery.