Seoul, Beijing to Enhance Cooperation on Bilateral Trade and Investment

Seoul, Beijing to Enhance Cooperation on Bilateral Trade and Investment
Photo by Mathew Schwartz / Unsplash

Senior trade officials from China and South Korea held talks on Wednesday, March first, for exploring methods to strengthen exchanges and cooperation regarding supply chains, bilateral trade, and investment, as well as create a favorable business environment, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The first high-level trade dialogue between the neighboring nations since June 2019, happened in Seul between South Korea's Deputy Trade Minister, Jeong Dae-jin, and China's Assistant Minister of Commerce, Li Fei, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy.

Jeong requested China's help to stabilize the supply of raw materials, parts, and other items, and to assist South Korean companies in doing business "under predictable circumstances".

The Chinese official reportedly stated that his country would make active efforts to ensure the stable business management of South Korean firms in China and resolve their difficulties.

Jeong also urged China to play an active role in accelerating the follow-up negotiations on the service and investment fields under their Free Trade Agreement.

Bilateral trade reached an all-time high of $310.4 billion last year, a 3% increase from the previous year, Seoul’s Yonhap News Agency reported.

But South Korea's trade deficit in 2022 reached $47.5 billion, marking the largest deficit on record, based on data compiled by the customs agency since 1956.

“There’s some expectation that the world economy won’t be facing as difficult of a situation as expected thanks to China’s reopening and unexpected growth from surrounding economies,” South Korea’s Minister of Economy and Finance Choo Kyung-ho said in February, according to CNBC.

Choo attributed the trade deficit to energy exports and a sudden drop in chip prices.