South Korea and Australia have agreed to step up efforts to expedite the domestic process for the early ratification and implementation of a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), Seoul's foreign ministry said Friday.
Seoul and Canberra signed the free trade deal in April, but the legislatures of both countries have yet to ratify it.
The agreement came as Lee Kyung-soo, deputy minister for political affairs, held a strategic dialogue with his Australian counterpart, Gillian Bird, in Australia, the ministry said.
The two sides also agreed to closely cooperate in holding next year's meetings among their foreign ministers as well as defense ministers.
Ahead of the visit to Australia, Lee stopped by New Zealand for a one-day consultative meeting with his counterpart, Andrea Smith, on Wednesday, the government added.
They agreed to launch a new consultative channel next year by integrating the current deputy foreign ministerial level consultation and a separate meeting on politics and the military.
They also shared the need to further make progress for ongoing negotiations for a bilateral free trade deal.
The latest round of FTA talks between South Korea and New Zealand has ended without a significant breakthrough due to a division over the agricultural market. (Yonhap)