1. The eighth meeting of the Republic of Korea-Turkey Joint Economic Committee took place at the Foreign Ministry, Seoul, on January 15, with Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs Ahn Chong-ghee of the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Acting Deputy Undersecretary Hüsnü Dilemre of the Turkish Ministry of Economy leading their respective delegations.
* The ROK delegation to the meeting was composed of ten relevant officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration and the Embassy in Turkey. The Turkish side included ten officials from the Ministry of Economy, and the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, as well as the Commercial Attache to the ROK.
2. The Joint Economic Committee meeting marked the first of its kind in six years since the one held in September 2009, the establishment of the bilateral strategic partnership in 2012 and the entry into effect of the Framework Agreement for the ROK-Turkey FTA and the Agreement on Trade in Goods in 2013. In the meeting, the two sides reviewed the progress in bilateral trade and investment, and discussed ways to work together in diverse fields, including construction, energy, defense industry, science, technology, ICT, air services and G20 summits.
3. The two sides, appreciating the steady increase in bilateral trade and investment since the entry into effect of the Framework Agreement for the ROK-Turkey FTA and the Agreement on Trade in Goods in May 2013, agreed to make efforts to sign as soon as possible the bilateral FTA for Services, Trade and Investments initialed in September 2014.
◦ The Turkish delegation asked the ROK to improve the current adverse balance of trade and boost investment in Turkey.
◦ The ROK side, expressing concern over the recent increase in trade remedies, including the safeguard investigation on mobile phones, by Turkey, asked the country to conduct the probe in a fair manner. It also requested that the Turkish government improve its process for issuing employment permits to Korean businesspeople working in the country.
4. In addition, the two sides, in view of the great potential for cooperation in such sectors as construction, energy, resources, defense industry, science, ICT and air services, agreed to seek ways to work more closely in the fields.
◦ The ROK side asked the Turkish government to pay attention to and support bids of Korean companies to continue participating in its large-scale infrastructure projects, including those involving bridges and hospitals.
◦ The two sides drew a common understanding that companies of their two countries can work together by using their strengths in terms of region and sector and thereby create synergy effect. In that light, they agreed to continue exploring ways to jointly enter construction markets of third countries in Central Asia and other regions.
◦ Furthermore, the two delegations, in view of the great potential for bilateral cooperation in such energy-related fields as power plant construction and mine operations, agreed to seek out relevant cooperation projects.
◦ The ROK side asked the Turkish government to cooperate with regard to additional exports of ROK-built basic training jets to Turkey. In addition, it proposed concluding a memorandum of understanding between ICT-related agencies of the two countries in a bid to promote cooperation in the field.
◦ The two sides, acknowledging the need to increase Incheon-Istanbul flights, agreed to meet in the near future for consultations on relevant details.
5. In addition, the ROK side agreed to work closely with Turkey, the chair country of the G20 Summit for 2015, to make a success of the G20 Summit. In particular, the two sides agreed to work together to make tangible achievements in areas of mutual concern, including development, trade and job creation.
6. The two delegations shared the view that the Joint Economic Committee meeting served as an opportunity for comprehensive discussions on bilateral economic ties and thereby for seeking ways to promote cooperation. They agreed to hold their next meeting in the near future and consult with each other in that regard through diplomatic channels.
Spokesperson and Deputy Minister for Public Relations of MOFA
* unofficial translation