SEOUL, June 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has acceded to the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) in an effort to expand its digital trade network, becoming the first partner outside of its founding members of Chile, New Zealand and Singapore, Seoul's industry ministry said Friday.
As the world's first plurilateral digital pact, the DEPA calls for the establishment of key rules on digital trade issues, such as digital identities, cross-border data flows and artificial intelligence.
It came into effect in January 2021, and South Korea applied to join the agreement in September of the year.
On Thursday, South Korea's Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun met with his counterparts from the three DEPA founding members in Paris on the sidelines of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Ministerial Council meeting, and they substantially concluded discussions for Seoul's joining of the pact, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
"The DEPA establishes new approaches and collaborations in digital trade issues, promotes interoperability between different regimes, and addresses the new issues brought about by digitalization," the joint press release read.
"South Korea had demonstrated the means by which it will comply with the high standards of the Agreement. There was also excellent potential for DEPA parties to work collaboratively on projects of mutual interest, in areas such as electronic invoicing, consumer protection, the exchange of electronic trade documents, and cross border data transfers," according to the release.
South Korea seeks to finalize domestic and other procedures for the accession to have it come into force within this year, the ministry said.
China, Canada, Costa Rica and Peru have submitted formal requests to accede to the DEPA, and the official process for the potential accession for China and Canada is now under way.
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