S. Korea, New Zealand wrap up 5th round of FTA talks

By 서지연
  • Published : Feb 21, 2014 - 21:11
  • Updated : Feb 21, 2014 - 21:11
South Korea and New Zealand wrapped up their fifth round of negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) on Friday after a five-day run, but failed to make tangible progress, the trade ministry said.

During the negotiations held in Wellington, the two sides discussed all aspects of the free trade deal including market accessibility, but failed to bridge their gap on ways to protect some of South Korea's sensitive agricultural goods, the ministry said.  

The two countries, however, have made some progress on the service and investment markets, it said.   

The fresh round of talks was the first of its kind since May 2010.

   They agreed to continue their negotiations via unofficial channels, sharing the view that it is important to strike the free trade deal based on mutual interests.   

They reached a preliminary agreement to hold the sixth round of negotiations in late March or early April in Seoul.

New Zealand was South Korea's 44th-largest trade partner in 2013 with the countries' bilateral trade volume coming to $2.88 billion, up 2.9 percent from a year earlier. (Yonhap)