Chinese President Xi Jinping, in a joint, post-summit press briefing with President Park Geun-hye Thursday emphasized their will to wrap up negotiations for a bilateral free trade deal by the end of the year.
Delegations from the two sides, who have held 11 rounds of talks, will try to hammer out their remaining differences later this month.
The two leaders expect the free trade deal to increase two-way trade to 300-billion U.S. dollars next year from 230-billion dollars in 2013.
With shipments to China accounting for one-fifth of Korea's exports, the finance ministry expects Korea's GDP to rise by up to 3 percent over the ten years after the FTA takes effect.
Korean automakers will benefit the most as the free trade deal is expected to gradually remove the 22-and-a-half-percent tariff China levies on foreign cars.
But Korea's agricultural and fisheries industries could be slammed by an influx of cheap Chinese products -- with some experts predicting an annual output fall of some 3-billion dollars.
The Korean side wants to exclude as many agricultural products as possible by designating them 'extremely sensitive items."
Farmers here have urged the goverment to draw up programs to compensate for an expected surge of Chinese products that already take up the lion's share of imported food.
If Seoul and Beijing successfully conclude the trade pact, Korea will have established free trade deals with the world's three most influential economic powers -- the U.S., the European Union and China.
Song Ji-sun, Arirang News.
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