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Leaders of Korea, Australia sign FTA, discuss stronger security cooperation

Updated: 2014-04-08 12:14:15 (KST)
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The leaders of Korea and Australia met on this Tuesday for their second summit meeting since both of them took office last year.
Following their talks, the two countries' trade ministers signed the bilateral free trade agreement, finalized late last year.
For details we connect by phone to our presidential office correspondent Choi You-sun .
You-sun.

Conn-young.
Less than a month after concluding a trade deal with Canada, Korea signed its 11th FTA with Australia, both Seoul and Canberra agreeing to remove tariffs on a majority of traded goods over the next 10 years.
Trade between Korea and Australia jumped from 18 billion U.S. dollars in 2007 to 30 billion last year.
Korean investment into Australia's energy and resources development has expanded rapidly, taking up 80 percent of its total investment to the land down under.
President Park Geun-hye and Prime Minister Tony Abbott held a joint press conference that ended a little over an hour ago, and I'll bring you details on that on our next newscast.

I understand while the two countries' economic ties will get a boost from the trade deal, the two leaders also publicized a joint statement on security and defense?

Right.
Seoul and Canberra adopted a vision statement, in which the two sides agreed to discuss a blueprint for security and defense cooperation.
They also decided to hold a joint cyber policy dialogue in the near future.
Australia backed President Park's trust-building policies and reunification initiatives with North Korea.
Canberra, however, also called on Pyongyang to put down all of its nuclear arms and to abide by its previous denuclearization commitments.
What's worth noting is the vision statement refers to Seoul and Canberra's joint efforts towards regulatory reforms and streamlining red tape.
Similar to President Park's deregulation drive, the Abbott government has pushed for reform measures, such as holding a massive Repeal Day twice a year, to boost Australia's competitiveness and to create more jobs.
Abbott, who agreed on a pre-FTA economic partnership deal with Japan earlier this week, travels to China next for a summit with President Xi Jinping and to attend the annual Boao Forum.
Conn-young.

Alright You-sun, thank-you for that update.
That was our presidential office correspondent Choi You-sun on the Korea-Australia summit and signing of the two countries' free trade deal.


Reporter : yschoi@arirang.co.kr

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