A new round of South Korea- ASEAN FTA negotiations will officially begin.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on August 7 that Trade Minister Joo Hyung Hwan attended the 13th Korea-ASEAN Economic Ministers meeting held at Vientiane, Laos, from August 4 to 5th to officially launch a new round of negotiations with economic ministers of 10 ASEAN countries.
They began the talks in 2012 but officially formulated the negotiation this time as they reached an agreement on the main issue of interest item exchanges.
Moreover, the third protocol revision for Korea-ASEAN FTA commodity agreement, which was signed at the Korea-ASEAN Economic Ministers meeting held in Malaysia in August last year, has come into effect. The six ASEAN countries are Korea, Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore, Laos, the Philippines and Malaysia.
The protocol revision for commodity agreement includes the introduction of trade facilitation prescripts, which allow export companies to make the best use of the FTA more easily, the measures to improve the reciprocity systems and plans to reduce tariffs by year.
At the meeting, Minister Joo suggested new joint projects to ASEAN economic ministers in a bid to widen the economic cooperation. In particular, he said that the country will begin “Technology Advice & Solutions from Korea (TASK)” project, which sends Korean technical experts to small and mid-size firms in the ASEAN countries in order to help with technical difficulties, this year in earnest and requested their participation in the project.
Joo also proposed to carry out “eco-friendly energy town project,” which can solve electricity production and consumption and energy problems by combining new renewable energy, such as solar power, wind power and biomass, and energy storage systems of the ASEAN countries and increase the income of residents.