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Korean delegation attends 2nd round of IPEF negotiations 2023-03-15

Trade, Industry and Energy Ministry’s Deputy Minister for FTA Negotiations Roh Keon-ki headed the Korean delegation at the second official round of negotiations for the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) in Indonesia on March 13-19.

The Korean delegation is composed of representatives of relevant ministries and Government agencies, including the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA), Ministry of Justice and National Tax Service (NTS).

Korea is among the 14 nations participating, namely the U.S., Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, India and Fiji.

Following the first negotiation round held in December 2022, this second round will tackle all four pillars: trade, supply chains, clean economy and fair economy. Delegations will seek to advance discussions per pillar based on outcomes from the first round and special negotiation round.

For trade, the direction of negotiations will take more definite shape once views are exchanged regarding the agreement document structure and its elements, based on the circulated agreement draft text and negotiation session results.

For the remaining three pillars, discussions will proceed on a deeper level based on items covered during the February special negotiations.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) has been working on strengthening communication and consultation with interested parties in preparation for the second round of negotiations by holding the public-private strategy meeting and pillar-specific working groups.

To note, IPEF deals with not only trade rules, but also areas that are relatively less conventional discussion topics. MOTIE has stayed receptive to experts and industries and strived to establish a balanced negotiation strategy for securing national interest while also contributing to the Indo-Pacific region development.

Deputy Minister Roh remarked that “IPEF participants are engaging in negotiations in a cooperative and constructive manner with the shared purpose of establishing an open and resilient economic cooperation system in the Indo-Pacific region.”

He emphasized that “as this round of negotiations is deemed a critical starting point for reaping tangible outcomes this year, the Korean delegation will concentrate all efforts to actively partake in negotiation per pillar, with aim to express Korea’s stance and obtain substantial and reasonable outcomes.”