Leaders of Korea, Australia sign FTA, agree to boost security cooperationUpdated: 2014-04-09 06:33:20 (KST)
Less than a month after concluding a trade deal with Canada, Korea signed its 11th FTA
Seoul and Canberra agreed to remove tariffs on a majority of traded goods over the next decade.
"It would be very good for both our countries, because trade means jobs, free trade means more jobs, free trade not only means more jobs but it means better friendships."
President Park Geun-hye talked about the great potential for energy and resources development cooperation, by merging Korea's advanced technology with Australia's vast resources.
But their meeting wasn't just about economic ties.
The two leaders also adopted a vision statement, in which they agreed to discuss a blueprint for security and defense cooperation.
"Prime Minister Abbott and I agreed that stronger diplomatic and security cooperation is crucial at a time like this, when the state of security in the region is fast-changing."
Australia also expressed support for President Park's trust-building and reunification initiatives with North Korea, while calling on Pyongyang to put down its nuclear arms and to abide by its previous denuclearization commitments.
The vision statement also referred to Seoul and Canberra's joint efforts towards regulatory reforms and streamlining red tape.
Similar to President Park's deregulation drive, the Abbott administration 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.
"On people-to-people exchanges, the two leaders agreed to actively support Koreans visiting Australia on working holiday visas, and Australians coming to study in Korea as part of Canberra's New Colombo Plan.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News."
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This makes me feel better.