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S Korea, EU to hold talks on inter-session FTA

Xinhua | 2009-03-02

S Korea, EU to hold talks on inter-session FTA

SEOUL, March 2 (Xinhua) — South Korea and the European Union (EU) will hold a high-level meeting in Brussels from Tuesday to Thursday this week, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported Monday.

The meeting is known as inter-session talks between formal sessions of trade talks to be held in order to settle controversial issues such as auto trade and rules of origin in their free trade negotiations, the South Korean Trade Ministry said.

During the meeting between Lee Hye-min, South Korean deputy minister for trade, and his European counterpart Ignacio Garcia Bercero, the two parties will also discuss on how to settle a deal as soon as possible, according to the ministry.

Some unofficial studies suggest that South Korea-EU FTA would increase bilateral trade, which stood at 93.07 billion U.S. dollars in 2007, by as much as 40 percent in the long run, Yonhap said.

South Korea has thus far held seven rounds of free trade talks with the EU, South Korea’s second-largest trading partner after China.

The eighth, hopefully the last, session of formal trade negotiations is scheduled to be held in Seoul later in March.

 source: Xinhua