Korea, GCC discuss ways to utilize FTA

Trade Minister Cheong In-kyo speaks during a meeting held in Seoul, Feb. 16. Yonhap

Korea’s trade ministry said Tuesday it has discussed ways to utilize a recently-struck free trade agreement (FTA) with a group of Arab countries, as Seoul seeks to diversify its trade destinations .Trade Minister Cheong In-kyo met ambassadors of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Seoul to seek ways to utilize the bilateral FTA struck in late 2023, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The GCC consists of six countries — the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.

“The cooperation between Korea and the GCC nations has been expanding its scope to cover manufacturing, defense, medical, and contents, beyond traditional areas such as energy and construction,” Cheong said during the meeting.” On the back of the FTA struck in late last year, the areas of cooperation will not only expand further but also go deeper,” he added. The trade minister also called for the GCC members to lend support to promptly proceed with the remaining procedures for the official implementation. In 2023, the GCC was the fifth-largest trading partner for Korea, following China, ASEAN, the United States and the European 온라인카지노 Union.

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