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Trade, business with China positive next year: FKI

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during the G20 Leaders’ Summit on Nov. 21. (Yonhap)
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during the G20 Leaders’ Summit on Nov. 21. (Yonhap)
A state visit to South Korea by the Chinese leader and the recovery of the world’s second-largest economy will improve trade and business ties between the two countries next year, a report suggested Monday.

Comparing business sentiment between the two countries on a timeline, the Federation of Korean Industries said the relationship could get better than it was in 2016, just before the two started to bicker over the US decision to deploy an anti-missile system on Korean soil.

The report followed interviews with 31 experts, the local business association added.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Korea could lead to the relaxation of business restrictions and travel bans, the authors suggested.

The Chinese economy is set to grow by 7.8 percent next year and Korea’s exports to China could increase to 8.1 percent, they added.

The survey urged Korean companies to pay attention to China’s 10 trillion yuan ($1.5 trillion) plan to construct new digital infrastructure in seven key areas: 5G networks, industrial internet, intercity transportation and rail systems, data centers, artificial intelligence, ultra-high-voltage power transmission and new-energy vehicle charging stations.

“Despite the resurgence of COVID-19, China’s economy is projected to achieve 2.2 percent growth this year and about 8 percent growth next year,” said Kim Bong-man, head of the FKI’s international cooperation division.

“Along with China’s infrastructure plan, China’s economic growth would bestow big business opportunities on Korean companies next year.”

Following the THAAD deployment, China imposed various sanctions on Korean companies from late 2016 and banned group tours to Korea. Korean companies, including Lotte Group, withdrew from the market with a population of around 1.4 billion and the number of Chinese visitors to the nation declined to 4.1 million in 2017 from 8 million in 2016.

By Park Ga-young (gypark@heraldcorp.com)
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