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Trade Minister holds bilateral talks on sidelines of 33rd APEC meetings 2022-11-22

Minister for Trade Dukgeun Ahn attended the 33rd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting (Nov. 16-17) and summit meetings (Nov. 18-19) in Thailand, where he also held bilateral talks on the sidelines with major trade partner countries’ counterparts to discuss trade issues and economic cooperation.

In discussions with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, Minister Ahn remarked that the South Korean government and industries are seriously concerned about the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and emphasized that specific measures to reduce these concerns must be promptly devised. Both sides agreed to have further talks on this issue in the future.

The trade chief held talks with Tran Quoc Khanh, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, over expanding bilateral trade and business collaboration, for which he stressed the need for Vietnam to accelerate its Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) implementation process. RCEP has come into force in Vietnam, but administrative procedures remain unfinished, and imported goods have yet to become subject to preferential tariffs. The two countries agreed to advance cooperation across industries and the resources supply chain.

Minister Ahn also met with Alfredo E. Pascual, the Filipino Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry and both concurred that multifaceted nuclear energy cooperation should be strengthened. Minister Ahn called for interest and support for competent Korean companies’ participation in the Philippines’ nuclear power plant projects.

In talks with Chile’s Undersecretary of International Economic Relations, José Miguel Ahumada Franco, the Korean trade chief placed emphasis on the need for close cooperation in future negotiations for upgraded bilateral FTA, based on directions proposed during the Korean Prime Minister’s visit to Chile in October on critical minerals and FTA upgrade. Minister Ahn requested Chile’s interest and support for Korea’s Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) accession and PA associate membership process.

During talks with his Filipino, Chilean and Vietnamese counterparts, Minister Ahn requested support for World EXPO 2030 Busan.
Lastly, he met with the global digital giant Google on the occasion of the APEC sessions, and relayed how the Korean government is leading in efforts to bolster international digital rules to substantially mitigate the global digital gap and reinforce corporate cooperation. The Trade Minister added that he looked forward to Google’s creative and proactive role in this process.