Posted December. 01, 2004 22:54,
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry announced that Korea and China held the eighth round of rice talks to avoid adopting a tariff on December 1 in Beijing, but failed to reach an agreement.
However, as China took a flexible approach toward key issues such as Koreas rice import quota and the distribution of the quota among rice exporting countries, it is highly expected that the two parties would reach a consensus within this month, the deadline of the talks.
The Korean delegation said on this day that even though the two parties failed to conclude the talks, there was progress as their Chinese counterparts showed a very flexible attitude. Against this backdrop, the Korean government is expected to have additional negotiations with other rice exporting countries or start re-negotiations with China through diplomatic channels such as the local Korean Embassy.
So far, Beijing has demanded that Seoul raise the rice import quota from the current four percent of domestic rice consumption between 1988 and1990 to eight percent over the next decade.
In addition, the country has requested from Korea that imported rice should be available not only to companies making processed foods such as rice cookies but also to general consumers and to increase the ratio of Chinese rice as much as possible from 57 percent of last year.