China, S.Korea start 10th FTA talks

Updated: 2014-03-17 14:02


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SEOUL - China and South Korea started the 10th round of negotiation on the bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) in Ilsan, north of Seoul, on Monday.

The fresh round of negotiations, to last until Friday, focuses on goods, service and investment trade, rules of origin, technical barriers to trade, intellectual property and other related issues, according to the Chinese delegation.

Chinese delegation was led by Wang Shouwen, assistant minister of China's Ministry of Commerce, while the South Korean side was led by Woo Tae-hee, assistant commerce minister of the Ministry of Trade Industry and Energy.

South Korea and China completed the first stage in early September for the bilateral free trade pact, with a total of seven rounds of negotiations.

Seoul and Beijing tentatively agreed to abolish tariffs on 90 percent of all products during the first-stage talks and opened the door for raising the threshold during the second-phase negotiations.

China is South Korea's No 1 trading partner, with Seoul's exports to Beijing accounting for a quarter of the total in 2012. Since the two neighbors established diplomatic ties in 1992, their annual trade has grown almost 50 times and reached $256 billion in 2012.