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FTA/Economic Cooperation

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Korea and GCC hold 6th round of talks for FTA 2022-10-24

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) announced on October 21 that the 6th round of Korea-GCC FTA negotiations will take place through October 24-28 in Seoul.

Led by MOTIE’s chief negotiator Kwon Hye-jin, Korea’s delegation is composed of officials from the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF), the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA), the Financial Services Commission (FSC) among other relevant government bodies.

The GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) is a regional, intergovernmental, political, and economic union comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, and its delegation consists of 40 persons from the GCC Secretariat and from each of the six GCC member states.

Since the restart of negotiations in January this year, the fourth and fifth rounds of the two parties’ official negotiations took place on March 28-31 (Seoul) and June 6-9 (Riyadh), respectively. In-between talks were also held in August and September for negotiations on areas of interest.

The ongoing sixth round will touch on 1) opening of products and services market 2) trade environment improvement 3) digital transition, healthcare & infrastructure, and the incorporation of these items into the agreement.

Chief negotiator Kwon stated that “the GCC member states are highly interested in industrial diversification and nurturing the manufacturing sector, and are major partners for Korea in terms of energy and resources,” and added that “based on the opinions gathered from relevant industries, ministries and institutions, the delegation will engage in negotiations under balance of interests so as to swiftly conclude the Korea-GCC FTA.”