Korea-China FTA to upgrade economic cooperation: President

President Park Geun-hye expressed her vision on Korea-China economic cooperation and co-development at a business forum held in Beijing on June 28. 

President Park, currently on a four-day state visit to China, delivered an address on bilateral economic cooperation at the Korea-China business forum where she quoted a Chinese idiom meaning continuous advancement day by day (日日新又日新) from one of four well-known Chinese classics -- the Daxue (大學).

President Park Geun-hye delivers an address at a Korea-China business forum held at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on June 28.
“The trade volume between Korea and China showed more than a 40-fold increase by recording USD 256.3 billion in 2012, from USD 6.3 billion when the two countries first established a diplomatic relationship,” said President Park in her speech. “As China became Korea’s largest trade partner and Korea became China’s third-largest trade partner, the two countries should build a new vision for bilateral economic cooperation which can fulfill the remarkable achievement both countries have made over the last 20 years." 

President Park credited trade and investment for leading bilateral economic cooperation over the past two decades. “Future cooperation for the next two decades should be led by creative economy which focuses on generating highly-added value by combining high-tech industries,” She said. 

She said that the joint effort of the two countries will be synergetic as both governments have similar economic visions; Beijing has been planning to foster rising industries, including new energy, next-generation IT, and bio sectors, under its innovation-centered economic vision (自主創新) while Seoul has been working to pursue its creative economy (創造經濟) goal which aims to make more jobs by mixing science technology, ICT, industries, and culture based on human creativity.

President Park Geun-hye (center) receives applause at a Korea-China business forum on June 28 in Beijing.
“If both countries hold their hands and cooperate together, the two will share a much brighter future and co-prosper,” said President Park, while mentioning a Chinese proverb emphasizing the importance of becoming friends when doing business (先做朋友後做生意).

President Park also expressed her belief in the Korea-China free trade agreement (FTA) by saying that “the free trade pact will lay the systemic foundation to maintain the joint effort between the two countries which have extended the bilateral economic cooperation.”

President Park also urged business people of the two countries to support the free trade deal so that the ongoing free trade negotiation can reach a successful agreement. “The Korea-China FTA should present an exemplary cooperation model as the two are successful trading countries in a multilateral trade system,” said the president.

Both Korean and Chinese business people listen to President Park Geun-hye’s address at a Korea-China business forum on June 28 in Beijing.
The business forum was jointly held by the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industries and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT). This forum was attended by an 80-strong delegation of Korean business leaders, including chairman of Hyundai Motor Group Chung Mong Koo, leaders of four key business associations in Korea including chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries Huh Chang-Soo, and representatives of Korean firms operating in China. Nearly 100 Chinese business people, including CCPIT President Wan Jifei, also attended the forum.

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