President Park Geun-hye stressed that a Korea-China free trade agreement would open a new horizon for bilateral economic cooperation.
At a Korea-China business forum in Shanghai on Sept. 4, the president said, “The two nations will not only become the biggest trading partner for each other, but will also be reborn as a huge regional economic community valued at USD 12 trillion.”
The president laid out three goals for future economic cooperation for the two nations: maximizing the effects of an FTA; diversifying bilateral cooperation; and, making concerted responses to global issues.
“A Korea-China free trade agreement would spread opportunities and benefits wider than both Korean and Chinese companies and people have ever enjoyed before,” said the president. “The two nations will do their parts to ratify the FTA as soon as possible, abolish non-tariff barriers and help find distribution channels for businesses.”
The president said the two nations need to diversify their cooperation to include healthcare, arts and entertainment. “Building on our cooperation in the manufacturing sector, the main industry of both nations, our cooperation needs to be diversified to include services and other industries.”
“Among all the industries in both nations, the entertainment industries, including film, broadcasting and video games, have attracted some of the largest joint investments,” said President Park. “When market, capital and content from the two nations are combined and we’re able to create synergies, the two nations will be able to lead the global arts and entertainment content markets.”
Concerning a concerted response, President Park said, “Looking at the fact that the two nations have developed their economies by mainly tapping into the manufacturing industries, achieving the two goals of economic growth and reducing greenhouse gases at the same time is not an easy task for anyone. However, by turning such challenges and threats into opportunities instead — to create new energy industries and by converging the strengths of the two nations in technology and capital — the two nations will be able to lead the huge global green industry market around the world.”
“Former Chinese Premier Li Peng once commented on our bilateral relations during the signing ceremony creating diplomatic relations between Korea and China in 1992. He said, ‘water flows and naturally becomes a ditch,'” said the president. “Our bilateral relations so far have already grown from a ditch into a river and are now heading toward an ocean.”
“There is a saying in the ‘I Ching,’ a collection of divination texts and its commentaries from the Western Zhou period (1,000 B.C.-750 B.C.), that if two people join hands, they can cut off a solid piece of iron,” said the president. “If we all stand together and gather our collective strength, the two nations will be able to prevail over the ongoing economic crisis and also stand tall at the center of the global economy.”
By Limb Jae-un
Korea.net Staff Writer
Photos: Cheong Wa Dae