On June 29th, the China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE) and the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) co-hosted the First South Korea-China CEO and Former Senior Officials’ Dialogue in Beijing. Delegates from the two sides exchanged their views on such issues as globalization, the current economic and trade relations between China and South Korea, the China-South Korea Free Trade Agreement, the opportunities for development and cooperation between the Chinese and South Korean companies in different industries. Zeng Peiyan, Chairman of CCIEE, Chung Sye Kyun, former speaker of the South Korean National Assembly, and 30 Chinese and Korean entrepreneurs, former senior government officials and think tank experts attended the dialogue.
The Chinese representatives pointed out that the bilateral trade between China and South Korea has increased by more than 40 times since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1992. The free trade agreement signed in 2015 has promoted further growth in the bilateral economic and trade. In order to maintain a stable bilateral economic and trade relation, the two countries need to take good care of the existing development momentum, further expand the areas of cooperation, enhance mutual political trust, strengthen policy communication and close cooperation. The South Korea-China economic and trade relations are affected by two major external factors, the US trade policy and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. At present, the rise of the US unilateralism and trade protectionism has not just damaged the global multilateral trading system and the facilitation of trade and investment, but also adversely affected the economic and trade cooperation between China and South Korea. Since the beginning of this year, the tension on the Korean Peninsula has been eased and the nuclear crisis in North Korea has been stabilized for the time being, which has brought important opportunities for economic development in Northeast Asia. China and South Korea are important stakeholders and therefore, they should consolidate friendly development and work together to jointly reduce international uncertainties and risks. At the same time, they should strengthen communication and cooperation and play a positive role in promoting denuclearization and realizing prosperity. CCIEE is willing to work together with the KCCI to promote a stable China-South Korea relation in the long term.
The representatives of South Korea stated that the two countries have achieved great success in economic and trade cooperation, non-governmental exchanges, and they have huge potential in many other areas. The practice of trade protectionism is not conducive to the development of economic and trade relations between South Korea and China. The KCCI will make more efforts to bring the trade, investment and regional cooperation between the two countries to a higher level and ensure a stable and healthy development of the bilateral economic and trade relations.
The First South Korea-China CEO and Former Senior Officials’ Dialogue aims to reach more consensus between the two sides, strengthen mutual political trust, promote healthy, stable and sustainable China-South Korean relations. Furthermore, the dialogue is committed to build a platform for communication between the Chinese and Korean entrepreneurs, former senior officials and think tank scholars, which is an important second-track communication mechanism besides the official communication.