South Korea Expands Export Restrictions on Russia and BelarusSouth Korea and Georgia Begin Talks on Economic Partnership Agreement

SEOUL - South Korea is set to enforce stricter export controls on Russia and Belarus by adding nearly 700 items to its list of restricted exports, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on Tuesday. The move is in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and aims to target items that have actual or potential military uses.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Industry and Energy, the list will now include 682 additional items, raising the total to 1,159. The expanded list encompasses heavy construction equipment, rechargeable batteries, aircraft components, machinery, and notably, used cars with engines of 2,000 cc or larger—a significant category within South Korea's vehicle exports to Russia. The revision, which prohibits the shipment of these items to Russia and Belarus, will come into effect on Saturday. However, the government will consider exceptions on a case-by-case basis for items not classified as strategic under South Korea's export control regime. The ministry emphasized the policy's alignment with international efforts to curb illegal trade and restrict items that could be utilized in military applications.

SEOUL - South Korea and Georgia have embarked on the first round of negotiations aimed at establishing a comprehensive economic partnership, focusing on trade and supply chains, according to Seoul's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The discussions, set to unfold over three days starting Tuesday in Tbilisi, Georgia, mark the inaugural talks for the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the two countries.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the EPA seeks to forge a mutually beneficial trade network that extends beyond simple market access to include a broad array of sectors such as goods, services, and cooperation. The talks will encompass 15 sectors, highlighting the "significant potential" for bilateral cooperation in areas including supply chains, logistics, and tourism. The ministry anticipates that the agreement will enhance bilateral trade and cooperation, offering South Korean companies opportunities to expand into broader markets in Europe and the Middle East. Government data indicates a steady growth in bilateral trade, from $90 million in 2017 to $210 million last year.

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