China and South Korea are expected to beef up commercial ties as companies gathered at a summit in Beijing to further bilateral cooperation in emerging fields, including artificial intelligence and big data.
At the summit held on Dec 14, more than 50 companies from South Korea joined with over 500 Chinese investors and venture companies to seek potential business cooperation.
South Korea’s national investment promotion agency also signed memorandums of understanding with China International Technology Transfer Center and a science and technology park of Zhongguancun to give both sides tech boost.
The move came during the first state visit to China by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, as part of the two countries’ broader efforts to enhance trade cooperation and boost economic ties.
Since the China-South Korea Free Trade Agreement took effect in December 2015, the two countries have lowered tariffs three times, giving an active impetus to bilateral trade.
“Right now, both China and South Korea are preparing actively for the second round of negotiation of the China-South Korea FTA as the agreement noted that the second round will be started within two years after it took effect,” said Gao Feng, spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce.
As of now, China is the biggest trading partner of South Korea. Latest data from the General Administration of Customs showed that China and South Korea achieved bilateral trade of $253.7 billion from January to November this year, up 12.1 percent year-on-year.
“We see great passion from South Korean counterparts when helping over 450 South Korean companies to connect with China. We believe that a better business climate will be fashioned through further cooperation on technology and innovation,” said Huang Haiyan, CEO of Techcode, one of the hosts of the summit and also a Chinese business incubator.
Kim Jae-hyun, CEO of ROCK, a startup focused on creating a smart ring mouse, is bullish about the prospects. “China is such a huge market with great business opportunities, we are glad to be here to seek our potential partners.”