Seoul - South Korea and China have agreed on the level of liberalisation for a future bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA), paving the way for further negotiations, Seoul said Friday.
The two countries agreed to reduce or eliminate import tariffs on 90 per cent of all products, said Woo Tae Hee, Seoul's assistant trade minister and a chief negotiator in the FTA talks with China.
The agreement means 10 per cent of all products will be excluded from the upcoming free trade agreement, much higher than the 0.2
per cent and 0.4 per cent excluded from South Korea's previous FTAs with the US and EU respectively.
China backed down from its initial insistence on 40 per cent of all products being excluded from the deal, officials said.
Observers predict that Seoul will try to exclude some rice, farm and fishery products from the trade deal in the next round of talks, while China will try to maximise the access of Chinese farm products into South Korea. - Sapa-dpa