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S. Korea-China biz ties should be fortified via FTA, AIIB: FKI head

The head of South Korea's largest business lobby on Sunday called for further cooperation with China via the upcoming implementation of the two nations' bilateral free trade pact, as well as through their alliance in a China-led regional bank.

"The South Korea-China free trade agreement will help extend our ties into a new source of growth and step up our level of economic cooperation," Huh Chang-soo, head of the Federation of Korean Industries, said during a meeting of business officials from the China Enterprise Confederation in the city of Nanning, southern China.

The Seoul-Beijing FTA, signed in June this year, is expected to help boost the country's gross domestic product by 0.96 percent over the 10 years after its implementation, according to a government study.

Huh also added that the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will provide an opportunity for South Korea and China to work together in upgrading necessary infrastructure in other parts of Asia.

"The two countries should collaborate towards the further development of Asian economies, sharing their respective know-how in the manufacturing sector to build related infrastructure systems in other countries," Huh said.

The AIIB, led by the world's No. 2 economy, with 56 founding members, including South Korea, was formed last year to serve the economic interests of Asia, including Oceania, and is seen as a potential counterbalance to U.S.-led multilateral lenders, such as the Asia Development Bank and the World Bank. (Yonhap)

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