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Korea, Chile agree to form new multilateral FTA | November 24, 2008

Korea, Chile agree to form new multilateral FTA

President Lee Myung-bak held a breakfast meeting with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to discuss ways to strengthen the two nations’ bilateral relationship while seeking ways to improve further economic cooperation.

Meeting on the sidelines of the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Lima, Peru on Nov. 23, the two leaders agreed to make joint efforts to form a new multilateral free trade agreement (FTA) that involves several countries in the Asia Pacific region.

During the meeting, President Bachelet reportedly asked her Korean counterpart to come to the negotiating table next March in Singapore, where countries including New Zealand, Singapore, Chile, Brunei, the United States, India, Peru and Australia are expected to start negotiations on a multilateral FTA. According to Korean Presidential spokesman Lee Dong-kwan, President Lee gave a positive response to the proposal.

Also at the summit, the two leaders agreed to make further economic exchanges. For one, President Lee asked President Bachelet to support Korean companies seeking to make inroads to Chile’s power generation and high-speech Internet network sectors.

President Lee talked about several Korean companies that are making such efforts, including POSCO and Daewoo International and added that since Chile has mountainous terrain, Korean-developed WiBro (wireless broadband) network systems would be very helpful to roll out internet in the South American country.

In response, the Chilean leader shed a positive light, saying she will instruct her Cabinet to consider importing the Korean WiBro system.

By Han Aran Staff Writer