The government will resume stalled free trade agreement talks with Australia, Canad and New Zealand. Korea aims to sign an FTA with Canada before the end of this year.
The three countries are all part of the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multilateral free trade agreement that aims to further liberalize the economies of 12 Pacific-rim countries.
Choi Kyung-lim, deputy minister for trade at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, said the government aims to form bilateral trade pacts with each of the three countries even though Seoul has yet to decide whether to take part in the TPP.
Korea held 13 rounds of FTA negotiations with Canada from July 2005 to March 2008, but talks broke down over beef import regulations. It also held four to five rounds of talks with Australia and New Zealand from 2009 until they collapsed over the extent to which Korea would open the agricultural market.
If the talks succeed this time, they would bring to 10 the number of FTAs Korea has with TPP members, leaving out only Japan and Mexico.