Anchor: In an effort to reduce the nation's vulnerability to the trade protectionist tendencies in the U.S. and unprecedented trade risks with China, the South Korean government is going all out to expand its free trade territory. The trade minister on Tuesday held a meeting with a 30-member advisory group of trade experts and scholars. The panel called for more free trade pacts with emerging economies.
Alannah Hill reports.
Report: The government says it will sign free trade agreements(FTA) with more countries in an effort to diversify markets in the face of trade risks from the U.S. and China.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy revealed the plans in a meeting with a civilian advisory committee in Seoul on Tuesday.
In the meeting presided over by Trade Minister Joo Hyung-hwan, the 30-member advisory group called on the government to counter a worsening trade environment with the U.S. and China by signing trade deals with emerging countries that have great growth potentials.
The ministry at the meeting announced its plan to expand the nation’s free trade network by finalizing trade pacts with emerging countries in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.
Noting that seven new trade deals have gone into effect under the current government, the ministry added that the aggregate gross domestic product(GDP) of South Korea's FTA partners accounted for 77 percent of the gross world product in 2016, a surge from 55 percent four years earlier.
It said that the government will soon formally finalize a free trade agreement with a group of Central American countries. South Korea recently signed a tentative trade treaty with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Panama.
The government also plans to strike a trade deal with Israel and Ecuador within this year.
Alannah Hill, KBS World Radio News.