World Economy

Li, Park Discuss Trade

Li, Park  Discuss TradeLi, Park  Discuss Trade

South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang discussed trade issues Saturday, meeting one-on-one a day before their three-way summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that aims to repair relations strained by historical and territorial matters, AP reported. At the meeting between Park and Li at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, the countries reached an agreement to work toward ratifying by the end of the year a bilateral free trade agreement that has yet to gain approval from South Korean lawmakers, Park’s office said. The sides, two of the region’s closest economic partners, also agreed to work toward expanding South Korean food exports to China and strengthening industrial cooperation in areas such as robotics. There was speculation that Li might also seek assurance from Park that South Korea, a key US ally, will keep a neutral stance over the recent flare-up between Washington and Beijing over the US Navy’s freedom of navigation operations in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.