South Korea Seeks to Strengthen Trade Ties with Three African Nations

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said Wednesday it has discussed ways to expand trade cooperation with three African countries by concluding Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).

Trade Minister Cheong In-kyo met with the ambassadors of Morocco, Tanzania and Kenya in Seoul to discuss ways to strengthen economic ties between South Korea and Africa, the ministry said.

An EPA aims to establish a mutually beneficial trade network with partner nations beyond simple market opening, though it has a more limited scope compared to a traditional free trade agreement (FTA).

South Korea is actively seeking EPAs with the three countries, citing their high growth potential based on rich resources and large populations.

“The EPA will serve as a platform to expand economic ties, not only in terms of trade and investment, but also in areas such as supply chains, digital and the green economy,” Cheong said during the meeting.

The ambassadors agreed that the EPAs in question would mark a significant step in upgrading economic relations, according to the trade ministry. They also noted that the upcoming Korea-Africa summit in June will be a key momentum for advancing cooperation, it added.

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