The Government of South Korea would consider the potential impact on its domestic industries, including textile industries, before agreeing to a free trade agreement (FTA) with China.
Park Tae-ho, Minister of Trade, said the Government will take opinion of all businesses that may be affected due to opening of the Korean market for China.
The Minister said there is a need to frame a policy to get access to the Chinese market for Korean goods, as China’s domestic market is growing at a fast-pace. The FTA will give an advantage to South Korea ahead of competition from other countries to get a foothold in the Chinese market, he added.
Meanwhile, while concurring on the need for a free trade agreement (FTA) with China, Korea Federation of Textile Industries (KOFOTI) has urged the Government to apply various safeguards to stop sudden influx of low-priced imports from China and also to prevent unfair trade practices that might harm local businesses.
Lee Dong-geun, Vice Chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), said a South Korea-China FTA is inevitable sooner or later, as China is the world’s second-largest economy and also the largest importer of South Korean products.
However, Mr. Lee emphasized that the Government should get some concessions from China to protect its domestic vulnerable industries, especially those represented mainly by small and medium enterprises (SMEs).