Park Yong-man, chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), proposed the signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU)
“If South Korea and the EAEU sign an FTA, it will help promote trade between South Korea and China which is faltering and diversify industries in the Far East,” said chairman Park in the "Korea-Russia Business Dialogue" held on September 9 (local time) by the KCCI and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation at Far East Federal University in Vladivostok of Russia.
This event was attended by about 100 movers and shakers of the Korean business world including chairman Park, Song Young-gil, chairman of the Northern Economic Cooperation Committee, Baek Woon-kyu, minister of trade, industry and energy, Kim Hyun-seok, president of Samsung Electronics, Jung Jin-haeng, president of Hyundai Motor, Ahn Seung-kwon, president of LG Electronics, Hwang Gak-kyu, a president of Lotte Group, Kim Young-sang, president of POSCO Daewoo, Ka Sam-hyun, president of Hyundai Heavy Industries. The Russian side were about 100 businesspeople and government officials including Sergey Katryn, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, Alexander Osipov, first deputy minister for the development of the Russian Far East, Stanislav Voskresensky, deputy economic development minister.
"The growth of Eurasian Continent’s potential has been hindered by political ideologies and borders. The Far East is a good place where we can solve such problems," chairman Park said. "We hope that the Far East will become the center to crystallize the new Korean government's northern cooperation and the Eastern Economic Forum will be a venue for publicizing new visions and broadening consensus."
In particular, Park also expressed his expectations for a South Korea-EAEU FTA. "Many Korean companies have shown interest in an FTA between South Korea and the EAEU," he said. "When an FTA is concluded between the two, it will help diversify industries in the Far East including shipbuilding, fishery, infrastructure and tourism, I think. Russian companies will be capable of utilizing the Korean market as their bases to tap into the Asia-Pacific region."
The EAEU is an economic community launched in January 2015. Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia are members. "Even though Russia belongs to Europe, but it takes close to three hours to fly from Seoul to here," chairman Park said. "I hope that cooperation between the two countries will become strong in various fields, such as the Northeast Asian economy and security and preparation for an era of Eurasia as South Korea is not far away from Russia."
"We are ready to cooperate with South Korea in various fields such as energy, manufacturing, agriculture and fishery, and medical service as well as a logistics infrastructure project utilizing economic zones with free trade ports," said Alexander Osipov, first deputy minister for the development of the Russian Far East. “I hope that more Korean companies will participate when considering the potential of bilateral cooperation.”
"The potential of bilateral economic cooperation is so great. Cooperation should expand in more sectors other than sectors where the two nations have cooperated," said Sergey Katryn, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation. "We hope that the development of the Far East will be the beginning of strengthening cooperation between the two countries. We hope that more Korean companies will seize opportunities to cooperate with their Russian counterparts by taking advantage of Russia’s various foreign investment promotion policies for the Far East."