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‘Seoul positively considering joining IPEF,’ says Hong Nam-ki

‘Seoul positively considering joining IPEF,’ says Hong Nam-ki

Posted April. 09, 2022 10:00,   

Updated April. 09, 2022 10:00


The South Korean government will be positively considering joining the “Indo-Pacific Economic Framework,” an anti-Chinese economic community led by the U.S. Seoul has also decided to submit application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a multilateral trade pact led by Japan, before the term of the incumbent administration ends in early May.

Hong Nam-ki, deputy prime minister for economy, announced the plans at the sixth external economy and security strategy meeting on Friday. “Discussions about IPEF will be further accelerated and go into details,” Hong said. “We will direct the discussion about our stance and plans towards participation in the pact going forward.”

The South Korea-U.S. policy coordination delegation dispatched by President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol also told a press meeting in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, “We conveyed our message to Washington to suggest that Seoul will continue to build economic order in the region as a responsible major nation (regarding the launch of IPEF) in collaboration with the U.S.” As a result, watchers say that Seoul will make it official Seoul’s participation in IPEF after the inauguration of the new administration.

“As for CPTPP, we will have a final review on additional ways to compensate for damage and future action plans under the grand plan of ‘submitting application during the incumbent administration and joining the pact during the next administration.” The agricultural sector continues to oppose Seoul’s joining the trade pact because it will inevitably suffer damage if South Korea joins CPTPP.

Hee-Chang Park ramblas@donga.com