China and Peru held their fifth round of talks over the upgrading of their bilateral free trade agreement
Korea and Ecuador on Monday began their ninth round of talks on the establishment of a bilateral free trade deal, Seoul's trade ministry said.
The two nations launched negotiations for the Strategic Economic Cooperation Agreement (SECA), a type of free trade pact, in 2016, and resumed the talks last year after a six-year hiatus.
The latest round of negotiations will continue through Friday in Seoul, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The two sides seek to speed up talks to clinch a deal on a range of issues, including manufactured goods, services and procurement, as well as ways to boost supply chains of energy and key minerals, the ministry said.
"Both sides are active in the negotiations, and we expect tangible results soon. The focus will be on forging a mutually beneficial and future-oriented bilateral relationship," Seoul's top negotiator Kwon Hye-jin said.
The South American nation is rich in natural resources, such as copper, zinc and gold.
If the deal is reached, Korea will be the first Asian country to have a free trade agreement with Ecuador.
Ecuador is South Korea's sixth major exports destination, with the bilateral trade volume coming to $968 million in 2021, according to government data.
Source: The Korea Times