Korea Times 2014-12-23
Tel Aviv proposes Korea-Israel FTA
By Yi Whan-woo
Israel’s top diplomat Avigdor Lieberman Tuesday proposed that Korea’s Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se open negotiations on free trade between the two countries, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tuesday.
"Lieberman told Yun about the need to begin discussions promptly on a free trade deal between Korea and Israel," it said. "Yun responded that both governments should talk and go over related issues step by step."
The meeting took place in Tel Aviv during Yun’s seven-day visit to Middle East countries that included Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and the Palestinian territory.
Korea has been pushing to fulfill President Park Geun-hye’s "creative economy" as a paradigm for sustainable economic growth. The goals include creating more jobs and nurturing entrepreneurs in prospective industries such as information and communications technology as well as biotechnology.
The government said Lieberman and Yun agreed on bilateral cooperation in high-technology sectors. It added that the countries shared "common ground" in terms of innovation.
Korea has 15 free trade agreement (FTA) partners. This year alone, it concluded FTA talks with Australia, Canada, China, New Zealand and Vietnam.