Korea, Arab nations hold another round of FTA talks in Seoul

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Korea, Arab nations hold another round of FTA talks in Seoul

Korea and a group of Arab countries launched a new round of negotiations for their free trade deal in Seoul on Monday, the trade ministry here said.
The sixth round of official talks for a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) between Korea and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will be held for a five-day run through Friday, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The GCC consists of six countries — the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.
The two sides will discuss various issues, including goods and services trading, ways to improve trade conditions, digital trade and intellectual property rights, the ministry said.
Korea and the GCC resumed FTA negotiations earlier this year, following a 13-year hiatus, with related sessions held in March and June.
The two sides agreed to push for a trade deal in 2007 and had three rounds of talks between 2008 and 2009. But their negotiations stalled as the council announced a suspension in 2010.
Trade volume between the two sides came to $46.6 billion in 2020, according to government data.
"The GCC nations are highly interested in nurturing manufacturing sectors and diversifying their businesses, and they are one of our major trading partners for energy and resources. The importance of enhanced cooperation between the two sides has been growing," Seoul's chief negotiator Kwon Hye-jin said.

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