S. Korea, Georgia to hold inaugural talks for economic agreement

SEOUL, South Korea and Georgia were to hold inaugural negotiations for a comprehensive economic partnership on trade and supply chains, Seoul's trade ministry said Tuesday. The two nations will hold the first round of talks for the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in Tbilisi for three days starting Tuesday (local time), according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. An EPA aims to establish a mutually beneficial trade network among partner nations beyond a simple market opening, though it covers a smaller scope of areas compared with a traditional free trade agreement. Negotiations will be on 15 sectors, including goods, services and cooperation, the ministry said, pointing to "significant potential" for bilateral cooperation on supply chains, logistics and tourism, among other sectors. "The envisioned agreement is expected to boost bilateral trade and cooperation and to serve as a chance for South Korean companies to make inroads into wider regions in Europe and the Middle East," the minis try said in a statement. Bilateral trade has grown from US$90 million in 2017 to $150 million in 2018 and further to $210 million last year, government data showed. Source: Yonhap News Agency