China, South Korea to promote economic cooperation, trade

Entrepreneurs and former government officials from China and South Korea released a joint statement on Friday to further promote economic cooperation and bilateral trade, especially in the areas of advanced manufacturing, the digital economy, healthcare, energy and the service industry.

Facing rising uncertainties in the global economy, the first round of dialogues between the industrial leaders and ex-governors from China and South Korea was held Friday by the China Center for International Economic Exchanges and Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Beijing. During the dialogues, both parties agreed that the economic and trade relations between the two countries are the stabilizers and boosters of the diplomatic ties and will play a vital role in regional prosperity.

“China has become the biggest trading partner and overseas investment market for South Korea, while South Korea is the fourth-biggest trading partner with China,” said Ning Jizhe, vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission. “In the first five months, the trading volume between the two economies has topped 808.8 billion yuan ($122 billion), up 9.2 percent year-on-year.” In the first four months of 2018, China has used $1.43 billion in direct investments from South Korea, up 61.7 percent on a yearly basis, he added.

Regarding China’s newly announced tariff cut in the amended Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement, which covers imports from South Korea, Jae-Young Lee, president of the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, said the cut will enhance cooperation between the two countries in the high-tech and medical equipment sector, especially when China and the United States are facing a trade dispute. “China’s Belt and Road Initiative is a perfect match with South Korea’s New Northern Policy,” he added. “For example, Chinese investors may face difficulties when investing in Russia, and with the help of South Korea, we will be able to conduct better communication with Russia.”