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Trade Minister holds 31st Trade Promotion Committee meeting 2023-02-01

Minister for Trade Dukgeun Ahn held the 31st Trade Promotion Committee meeting on January 30 at the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) to discuss major trade policy tasks amidst the rapidly changing global trade environment, in the attendance of officials of relevant ministries.

Trade Minister Ahn stated that “as concerns for global recession this year are rising, the global economy is up against the risk of multiple crises, namely energy security, protectionism and supply chain realignment as a result of geopolitical conflict and climate crisis.”

He added that “both Korean companies and the Government must fulfill their roles for recovery of trade and investment in this time of crises, and since these issues cannot be solved by one country alone, global solidarity is all the more important.”

To this end, he said that “many different trade agreements, like the trade and investment promotion framework (TIPF) and FTA, will be utilized to pursue mutually beneficial cooperation with numerous countries in supply chain, digital and such new trade areas.”

The trade chief assured that active efforts will go towards securing swift outcomes from ongoing international negotiations concerning the WTO dispute settlement system reform, facilitation of investments, and e-commerce.

During the Committee meeting, he led discussions on mainly three agenda items.

First, the members exchanged views on the Trade and Investment Promotion Framework (TIPF) as part of the push to enter new markets via a variety of different trade communication channels. The plan is to sign TIPF agreements with countries with which either FTA settlement may be difficult or require a long period of time, as well as countries with which strategic cooperation in supply chain, digital, climate change and other new trade issues is necessary.

By 2023, MOTIE aims to enter 20 TIPF agreements with countries in the Middle East, Northern and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Second, they discussed FTA measures for achieving positive exports growth and taking the lead in new trade issues.

The Korean government intends to expand the basis for domestic companies’ greater market presence in new markets via novel FTA approaches for respective regions, such as building on the cooperation momentum with the GCC on occasion of the summit meeting, while leaning towards an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) type of FTA with Africa, where growth potential is substantial.

MOTIE will be actively engaging in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) and in upgrade negotiations for existing FTAs so as to make sure that new trade rules ensure gains for Korean industries and corporations in areas like supply chain and clean economy.

Third, the Trade Promotion Committee members shared key outcomes of the multiple trade ministerial meetings Trade Minister Ahn held with counterparts in Davos on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.

He stated that the trade ministers agreed that the upcoming WTO Ministerial Meeting to be held in UAE in 2024 should produce meaningful outcomes for the restoration of multilateral system with respect to WTO reform, fisheries subsidies, e-commerce and investment facilitation.

As Korea is chair of WTO’s investment facilitation negotiations, Minister Ahn said the talks will proceed swiftly to reach a prompt settlement.