South Korea, Thailand in initial talks for bilateral economic partnership

Pearl Bantillo


SINGAPORE (ICIS)–South Korea and Thailand are currently holding their first round of negotiations for a bilateral economic partnership agreement (EPA).

The three-day talks being held in Bangkok will end on 11 July, South Korea’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) said on 9 July.

Delegations from the two countries “are to engage in negotiations on goods, services, investment, digital, government procurement, and intellectual property”, it said.

A bilateral EPA will serve as an institutional foundation for upgrading the Korea-Thailand economic cooperation, according to Roh Keon-ki, South Korea’s deputy minister for free trade agreement negotiations.

Thailand is an emerging market and the second-biggest economy in southeast Asia after Indonesia, while South Korea is highly industrialized and ranks as the 14th largest economy in the world.

“While the two countries have already established trade agreements through the Korea-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the level of their trade and economic cooperation has room for improvement,” MOTIE noted.

The 10 ASEAN nations – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam –  are signatories to RCEP, which also includes China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

RCEP is currently the world’s largest FTA, covering about a third of world GDP, population and total trade.


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