South Korea and Chile to Discuss Upgrading Bilateral Free Trade Agreement

SEOUL – South Korea and Chile are set to begin another round of negotiations to upgrade their bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), in response to evolving global trade conditions. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced these talks on Wednesday.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the eighth round of talks to amend the FTA, which has been in effect since 2004, will start later in the day in Seoul and continue until Friday. The discussions will cover a broad range of sectors, including goods trading, trade facilitation, intellectual property, labor, environment, and energy and minerals.

Chief negotiator Ahn Chang-yong mentioned that some consensus had been reached in specific areas, with the focus of the talks now on enhancing cooperation in intellectual property, environment, energy, and mineral supply chains. Chile, known for its abundant natural resources, leads globally in lithium and copper deposits.

The FTA with Chile was South Korea's first such agreement and has significantly facilitated South Korean firms' access to Central and South American markets. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the FTA, with bilateral trade having increased more than fivefold from US$1.5 billion in 2004 to approximately $8.3 billion last year.

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