1. The 24th meeting of the Republic of Korea-People’s Republic of China Joint Economic Committee was held in Qingdao, China, on August 1, with Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lee Seong-ho and Assistant Minister of Commerce of China Li Chenggang leading their respective delegations.
o The two countries noted the significance of this Joint Economic Committee meeting as the first face-to-face meeting between the ROK and China since the outbreak of COVID-19 amid the ongoing robust high-level communication, including the telephone conversations between the Presidents of the two countries in February and May. The two countries agreed on the need to continue to strengthen bilateral communication.
2. The two countries noted with appreciation that amid the COVID-19 situation, bilateral economic cooperation has matured further, including through the resumption of business operations of Korean companies in China as well as the creation of the ROK-China fast track procedure. The two countries also exchanged views on the way forward for bilateral economic cooperation in the post-COVID-19 era.
o The two countries took note of the successful operation of the ROK-China fast track procedure since its implementation on May 1. The ROK side asked for China’s cooperation in continuing to improve the system to facilitate the entry of business people of SMEs into China and to increase flights between the ROK and China.
o The Chinese side assessed that quarantine and economic cooperation between the ROK and China is offering a model for other countries, and the two countries agreed on the need to pursue cooperation in areas where they can create synergy, including the digital and non face-to-face industries, in the post-COVID-19 era.
3. The two countries reviewed the progress in preparations for drafting the ROK-China Joint Plan for Economic Cooperation (2021-2025), and agreed to finalize and adopt it as early as possible. They also agreed to make substantive preparations to achieve results in the economic area during high-level exchanges in the future, including by seeking and implementing concrete cooperation projects based on the track 1.5 joint report on cooperation linking the New Southern and Northern Policies with the Belt and Road Initiative, which was adopted late last year.
4. The ROK side actively requested China’s continued cooperation to expand exchanges between the two countries, including facilitating exchanges in areas of game, film and broadcasting content, and also asked China to make joint efforts to step up cooperation in agri-food, health, and intellectual property rights as well as to resolve difficulties faced by Korean companies.
5. The Chinese side asked for the ROK side’s attention to enhance economic cooperation between the provinces of the two countries, including participation in the China International Import Expo to be held in Shanghai in the second half of this year. The two countries agreed to establish a new cooperation model through bilateral projects including the ROK-China international cooperation demonstration zone in Changchun.
6. In addition, the two countries engaged in an extensive exchange of views on the global trade and investment environment post COVID-19, and affirmed their willingness to sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement this year. The ROK side actively requested China’s support for a Korean candidate for the next WTO Director-General.
7. Meanwhile, the two countries have worked together to ensure the ROK delegation’s smooth visit to China. The ROK side has implemented measures for disease prevention and control in advance, including conducting self-health monitoring and COVID-19 (PCR) tests before departure. The Chinese side has also taken measures for disease prevention and control to hold the first face-to-face meeting amid COVID-19, including keeping a safe distance in the meeting room and wearing face masks throughout the event except while making statements.