S. Korea seeks to launch FTA talks with Egypt

SEOUL-- South Korea's trade ministry said Monday it seeks to launch negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) with Egypt, which would mark the first of its kind with an African nation.

Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo plans to meet his Egyptian counterpart Nevin Gamea virtually later in the day to discuss ways to bolster bilateral economic ties, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

"The potential FTA will help South Korean firms penetrate deeper into the Egyptian market, further speeding up trades and investment between the two countries," Yeo said in a statement, suggesting his counterpart to launch feasibility studies soon.

Yeo said South Korea plans not only to forge deeper ties in traditional areas, such as the construction sector, with Egypt, but also in emerging areas, including healthcare and consumer goods.

Egypt is the third-largest trade partner for South Korea on the African continent, following South Africa and Liberia.

Outbound shipments to Egypt were estimated at US$1.21 billion in 2020, down 22 percent from $1.57 billion tallied in the previous year.

South Korea mainly shipped automobiles, synthetic resins and displays to Egypt. Its major imports from the northern African nation included petroleum and natural gas.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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