Chinese President Xi Jinping had a meeting with ROK President Park Geun-hye in Beijing on November 10. The two leaders jointly announced the conclusion of the substantive negotiations on the China-ROK FTA. After the meeting, witnessed by the two leaders, Chinese Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng and ROK Minister of Trade, Industry, and Energy Yoon Sang-jick signed the meeting minutes on ending the substantive negotiations on behalf of their own governments.
The China-ROK FTA negotiations started in May 2012 and the FTA is the most widely covered with the largest trade value that China has signed with other countries. According to the results of the negotiations, in terms of the opening level, the trade in goods liberalization will exceed a proportion of “90% of tax items and 85% of trade value”. It covers 17 areas including trade in goods and services, investment and rules of origin, covering the “21th century trade and economic issues” like e-commerce, competition policies, government procurement and environment. In addition, the two sides promised to carry out negotiations on trade in services in a negative list mode, and start investment negotiations on the basis of pre-access national treatment together with a negative list after signing the agreement. The China-ROK FTA negotiations have realized the goal of a “beneficially balanced, comprehensive and high-level” FTA.