Free Trade Agreement talks accelerated, S. Korea and Russia to configure joint investment fund

Free Trade Agreement talks accelerated, S. Korea and Russia to configure joint investment fund

Seoul’s finance ministry claimed an agreement was made between South Korea and Russia on Tuesday (Moscow time) to launch a fund for the industrial materials and parts sectors, and to speed up free trade negotiations.

According to the ministry, during the annual meeting, held in Moscow, on economic cooperation between South Korea and Russia, South Korean Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki put forward a US$1-billion joint fund to increase the supply chain of industrial materials and parts by investing in core technologies.

Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev led the Russian delegation

Gradually expanding to invest in other areas, such as healthcare, the first batch of funding will amount to $400,  the ministry added.

The ministry also said the two nations consent on speeding up free trade negotiations in the service and investment sectors hoping of striking the deal in 2020, as they look to broaden partnerships on science, medical services and information and communications technology.

The volume of trade between the two countries has been increasing rapidly in recent decades to reach $24.8 billion last year, up from $190 million in 1992.

Seoul and Moscow also pledged to continue better cooperation in the “nine bridges,” which include shipbuilding, railways, electricity, natural gas, agriculture, Arctic shipping routes and fisheries.

South Korean President Moon Jae proposed an action plan in 2017 that consisted of a proposal for joint research among South and North Korea and Russia for economic cooperation on electricity, railways, and natural gas.

The New Northern Policy has been executed by Moon which is based on expanding economic ties with different partners, including Russia.