Chosun Ilbo | 24 July 2007
Korea, Russia Agree to Pilot FTA Talks
Korea has agreed with Russia to launch study group talks on a bilateral free trade agreement in September, it was revealed on Monday.
Trade talks between Korea and Russia will likely gain steam starting early next year, as Russia will join the World Trade Organization by this year’s end.
A successful deal would make Korea Russia’s second trade pact partner, following the European Union.
A Russian government official said that Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong agreed with Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref to operate FTA study groups as a preliminary step toward a bilateral trade pact at the St. Petersburg World Economic Forum on June 9.
The Russian official added that Minister Gref sent a letter urging a bilateral trade deal, which Russia believes will create enormous economic benefits for both sides, to the Korean government in late June.
Korea exported goods worth US$6.8 billion to Russia, accounting for 70 percent of the $9.75 billion two-way trade last year. A trade pact with Russia would be expected to boost Korea’s exports to Russia even further.