South Korea's Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo (R) and Britain's Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan meet in London on Feb. 7, 2022, for the initial meeting of the South Korea-Britain free trade agreement (FTA) committee, in this photo provided by Yeo's office. (South Korea's Trade Minister)
South Korea and Britain have agreed to launch talks this year to upgrade their free trade deal in a move to deepen ties in digital trade and other new issues, Seoul's trade ministry said Tuesday.
The agreement was made during an initial meeting of the South Korea-Britain free trade agreement (FTA) committee in London on Monday.
The meeting was attended by South Korea's Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo and Britain's Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan.
The two nations clinched the FTA in August 2019 in the wake of Britain's departure from the European Union, and the pact went into effect in January 2021 following Britain's departure from the European Union.
During the talks, the two sides agreed to set up a director-level consultative body to discuss their push for talks on the potential revision of the FTA, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The upgrade is expected to seek deeper bilateral cooperation on digital trade, supply chain, and carbon neutrality.
Minister Yeo proposed beefing up rules on their online transactions, as well as the creation of an investment chapter so as to promote bilateral investment and to better protect investors, according to the ministry.
One year after the pact, their trade volume came to $11.8 billion, up 32.6 percent from the same period a year earlier, according to government data.
The two ministers also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) meant to boost ties on supply chains of key materials.
The MOU calls for holding both senior-level and working-level talks on a regular basis to exchange policy measures and information regarding supply chain issues and to promote two-way investment and trade, the ministry said.
Yeo is in London for a two-day stay from Monday as part of his two-nation trip, which will later take him to Geneva. (Yonhap)