China, South Korea to Expand Economic Ties

Trade market between the two countries is valued at $145 billion

On the eve of their leaders' summit in Seoul, South Korea and China on August 24 agreed to further expand cooperation to better tackle global economic challenges on the eve of their leaders' summit here, officials said.

Strategy and Finance Minister Kang Man-Soo and his Chinese counterpart Zhang Ping held an annual ministers' meeting in the South Korean capital to reach the agreement, Kang's ministry said. "As globalization and bilateral economic cooperation deepen, both countries agreed on the need for policy coordination to effectively cope with unstable global economic factors, such as high oil prices," the statement said.

The ministers discussed topics also including investment, the environment, aging societies and cooperation in communications services.

China is South Korea's largest trade partner, with two-way trade worth more than $145 billion last year.

Seoul had invested a total of $22.54 billion in China as of end-2007 and the two sides are studying a possible free trade agreement.

The meeting came one day before Chinese President Hu Jintao visits South Korea for a summit with President Lee Myung-Bak. The two first meet one-to-one to discuss North Korea before holding an expanded summit to discuss other issues, including cooperating in economic and trade matters and promoting exchanges, according to Seoul officials.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

TAGS: Trade
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