Economy

(LEAD) S. Korea, Argentina discuss stronger trade, supply chain ties

Top trade officials of South Korea and Argentina discussed ways Thursday to enhance trade and investment through free trade platforms and to boost cooperation on supply chains of major minerals and energy resources, Seoul’s industry ministry said.Duri…

Top trade officials of South Korea and Argentina discussed ways Thursday to enhance trade and investment through free trade platforms and to boost cooperation on supply chains of major minerals and energy resources, Seoul's industry ministry said.

During a meeting in Seoul, South Korea's Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun and Argentina's foreign and trade minister, Santiago Cafiero, agreed to continue consultations to make progress in talks for a trade agreement between South Korea and Mercosur, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

As a leading trading bloc in South America, Mercosur is comprised of four nations -- Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay -- and it accounts for about 70 percent of the gross domestic product of the region.

South Korea and Mercosur launched their first negotiations for a free trade deal in 2018, and the last session took place in 2021.

The two ministers also discussed signing a bilateral Trade and Investment Promotion Framework (TIPF) to create a new channel for cooperation in the overall industry and trade fields.

Ahn asked for Argentina's support for South Korean companies taking part in lithium development projects in the South American country.

Lithium is a major mineral for the battery sector, and Argentina has the world's third-largest lithium reserves.

Ahn also requested Argentina's support for South Korea's bid to host the 2030 World Expo in its southeastern city of Busan, the ministry said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency