South Korea wants to offset the expected slowdown in growth next year by expanding free trade agreements (FTAs) with Russia and South America's Mercosur trade bloc, a government official said this week.
Kwon Tae-kyun, head of the trade office at the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, said Seoul plans to lay the groundwork to launch earnest free trade agreement talks with these countries in 2009.
With its rapidly expanding economy, Russia has become an important buyer of locally made goods, while Mercosur's Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay could help South Korea diversify its export market and become important sources of natural resources, he said.
The official added that Seoul wants to expand ongoing free trade talks with Australia, New Zealand, and Peru.
(Source: UPS Trade News for December 9, 2008 )