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S. Korea, China agree to cooperate against protectionism

All News 22:04 July 24, 2016

CHENGDU, China, July 24 (Yonhap) -- The finance ministers of South Korea and China agreed Sunday to strengthen policy cooperation in curbing the rise of protectionism following Britain's recent exit from the European Union (EU).

The agreement was reached on the sidelines of the Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu.

"Bilateral trade and economic ties between the two countries were greatly improved despite the global trend of decreased trade," South Korean Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho, who doubles as the deputy prime minister for economic affairs, said.

Last month, Britons supported the proposal to leave the world's largest economic bloc by a small margin. The exit is expected to take at least two years.

"I propose to step up efforts to maximize the effect of South Korea-China bilateral free trade agreement (FTA)," Yoo said.

China is the world's single largest importer of South Korean goods, accounting for nearly one-fourth of South Korea's total outbound shipments. The two countries' bilateral FTA went into effect on Dec. 20 last year.

His Chinese counterpart Lou Jiwei agreed to push for a series of joint economic projects and increase investment in infrastructure.


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