S. Korea, Ecuador resume official talks for trade deal in 6 years

South Korean won banknotes. Photo: Shutterstock. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

SEOUL, Jul 11, 2022, Yonhap. South Korea and Ecuador resumed official talks on the formation of a bilateral free trade deal Monday after a six-year hiatus, Seoul’s trade ministry said, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The two nations launched negotiations for the strategic economic cooperation agreement, or SECA, a type of free trade pact, in 2016 and held five rounds of talks that year.

The sixth round of talks began earlier in the day and will continue through July 21. The talks will be held both in in-person meetings and via teleconferencing, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Officials from the two sides will discuss a wide range of trade issues involving manufactured goods, services and investment, as well as digital trade, government procurement and customs clearance, the ministry added.

How to boost cooperation on supply chains is also expected to be on the table, as the South American nation is rich in natural resources.

“South Korea and Ecuador have complementary trade relations. This round of talks is expected to serve as a crucial first step for the trade expansion with emerging markets in the region,” negotiation chief Lee Kyung-sik said.

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