Korea-Malaysia FTA talks start with year-end target

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Korea-Malaysia FTA talks start with year-end target

Korea officially announced the start of free trade talks with Malaysia on Thursday, in the latest effort to diversify its export portfolio and expand its presence in the Southeast Asian market.

Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee held a video conference with her Malaysian counterpart, Darell Leiking, and agreed to seek a free trade deal with the goal of completing negotiations in time for Seoul’s summit with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in November.

The first round of their official negotiations will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on July 11.

The announcement came after the leaders of Korea and Malaysia held a summit in March and agreed to launch negotiations toward a bilateral free trade agreement.

While Korea clinched a free trade agreement with Asean in 2007, Seoul has been making efforts to sign separate free trade deals with individual members of the regional bloc.

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