President Park Geun-hye said Thursday that South Korea and U.S. companies will stand to benefit if Seoul joins the world's largest trading bloc.
Trade ministers of the U.S. and 11 other nations reached the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal earlier this month, which accounts for about 40 percent of global gross domestic product.
"If South Korea joins the TPP, it will bring many benefits to companies of both sides," Park said in a speech for South Korean and U.S. business leaders in Washington. Park was in the U.S. for summit talks with U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday.
South Korea has clinched a series of free trade agreements with major trading partners, including the U.S. and China, in recent years as part of its efforts to boost growth in the country's export-driven economy.
South Korea's exports represent around 50 percent of its gross domestic product.
"South Korea is a natural partner of the U.S. over the TPP," Park said in a separate speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank, as Seoul has already signed free trade deals with 10 members of the TPP. (Yonhap)