South Korea and New Zealand will hold a fresh round of negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) in Seoul next week, the South Korean government said Friday, vowing to make "progress" in the talks that began more than five years ago.
"At the upcoming round of negotiations, the two sides will work to make actual progress by narrowing their differences in the area of market liberalization for products and by resolving other remaining issues, such as the country of origin, customs and investment," the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a press release.
Next week's talks, the eighth of their kind, will be held Monday through Friday. The last round was in Auckland, New Zealand, in early June.
The South Korea-New Zealand FTA talks began in June 2009. They were resumed earlier this year after a four-year suspension since May 2010, partly caused by the countries' differences over the level of market opening.
Currently, South Korea is New Zealand's 41st-largest trading partner and New Zealand is South Korea's 44th-largest trading partner. (Yonhap)