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Premier Li calls for further mutual opening-up with ROK

Updated: Nov 1,2015 8:09 PM     Xinhua

Premier Li Keqiang called for further mutual opening-up and integrated development between China and the Republic of Korea (ROK) in Seoul on Nov 1.

The Premier made the remarks in a keynote speech at a welcoming luncheon with the ROK business community.

The China-ROK free trade agreement, which heralds a low-tariff common market of some $12 trillion, will create more opportunities for businesses in the two countries, he said.

China and the ROK inked a landmark FTA in June. Under the deal, the ROK will eliminate tariffs on 92 percent of all imports from China within 20 years and China is to abolish tariffs on 91 percent of imports from the ROK.

He also called for accelerating the talks on a China-Japan-ROK FTA, and promoting the negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

He urged coordination in development strategies of China and the ROK and said that the two nations can jointly explore third-party markets and strengthen bilateral financial cooperation.

The Premier also vowed to jointly safeguard peace and stability in East Asia with the ROK.

He also assured the ROK business community that the Chinese economy is not facing a hard-landing.

China is vigorously pushing forward structural reforms and its economic potential is huge, the Premier noted. He invited ROK businesses to increase investment in China.

China’s economy expanded 6.9 percent year on year in the third quarter of 2015, the lowest reading since the second quarter of 2009, but in line with the government’s target of around 7 percent.

Premier Li arrived in Seoul on Oct 31 for a three-day visit, which also includes a trilateral summit with Japanese and ROK leaders on Nov 1.

After a meeting on Oct 31, Premier Li and President Park Geun-hye jointly witnessed the signing of 17 bilateral cooperation agreements, covering areas of trade and economy, science and technology, environmental protection and people-to-people exchanges.