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Researcher suggests China concede little to South Korea in FTA talks

2012/05/18 22:59:05

Taipei, May 18 (CNA) China should make relatively fewer concessions in talks on a free trade pact with South Korea because such a deal would benefit Koreans more, a Chinese researcher said recently.

Shen Guobing, a research fellow at Shanghai-based Fudan University's Institute of World Economy, told the China Industrial Economy News that South Korea's growing economic dependence on China means Koreans would gain more from the trade pact.

According to the Chinese-language newspaper, China accounted for 25 percent of South Korea's exports and 17 percent of South Korea's imports in 2010, but South Korea accounted for only 5 percent of China's exports and 10 percent of its imports.

Since the creation of a free trade area will further boost South Korea's imports of raw materials from and exports of finished goods to China, increasing China's trade deficit, Shen suggested that Beijing make fewer concessions in the negotiations, which are expected to start by the end of the year.

Shen also said the trade pact should be able to accelerate the upgrading of Chinese industries, but he cautioned against being too optimistic about a free trade deal, because it will not totally remove barriers such as quarantine and technical standards.

Such barriers have been among the reasons why a free trade deal between China and Southeast Asian countries have yielded less-than-expected results.

(By Huang Chi-kuan and Kay Liu)