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South Korea and China FTA Pilot Areas Incheon and Weihai Regional Economic Cooperation

The 5th Regional Economic Cooperation JointCommittee Meeting Held to Announce 13 Agenda

Incheon and Weihai of China, which are the pilot areas for the South Koreaand China Free Trade Agreement (FTA), continue their economic cooperation.

Incheon held the 5th Regional Economic Cooperation Joint Committee meetingin the new city hall building with the delegation from the city of Weihai,China, on the 5th.

After the signing of the South Korea and China Free Trade Agreement inJune 2015, Incheon and Weihai has been designated as the pilot areas for thesaid free trade agreement and, in July of the same year, signed the Agreementon Strengthening the Regional Economic Cooperation between Incheon and Weihai.After the signing of this agreement, the two cities selected seven areas with atotal of 41 key projects, covering trade, e-commerce, tourism, and sports,etc., signing further agreements for the subsectors and having been engaged invarious pilot programs.

Until now, the two cities have been discussing how they would strengthentheir economic cooperation and the meeting today was the fifth meeting of thecommittee. Due to the spread of COVID-19, the meeting was conducted online.



Incheon held the 5th Regional EconomicCooperation Joint Committee meeting with the delegation from Weihai, China, inthe new city hall building on 5th. Until now, the two cities have beendiscussing the strategies to strengthen their cooperation, and the meeting heldon that day was the fifth of meeting of the committee.

The meeting was attended by the officials from eight departments of Incheon,including the Department of Industrial Promotion of Incheon and ten relateddepartments of Weihai, including the Commerce Department, to announce thethirteen proposed projects covering trade, logistics, intellectual propertyrights, health, medicine, and tourism, etc., and discussed the promotionstrategies for each of these areas.

Especially, for the first time since the beginning of the meeting in 2017,the meeting was joined by the officials from the Ministry of Trade, Industryand Energy of South Korea and the Ministry of Commerce of China, indicatingthat the interest in and the role of the committee is expanding gradually.

As such, the topics discussed during the meeting and other exchangeprojects of Incheon for China became more likely to be discussed with thecentral government.

The key agenda proposed by Incheon included the cooperation request forthe duplicated issuance of the Certificate of Country of Origin applicable tothe South Korea and China FTA and the Regional Comprehensive EconomicPartnership (RCEP), suggestion on the strengthening of the registrationmanagement of the overseas manufacturers of the imported food products ofChina, supporting the selected food manufacturers of Incheon to developbusiness opportunities in China; jointly developing products and increasingexchange activities in the fields of medicine and tourism; suggestion of theopening of a new international voyage route between Baengnyeongdo Island ofIncheon and Weihai; the plans for increasing the cooperation efforts since thebeginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and the issues the companies of Incheon hadin their trade with China.

In return, Weihai announced seven agendas, which were, respectively,strengthening the cooperation between the two cities; strengthening theexchanges for the overseas talents with Incheon, especially with Incheon NationalUniversity; promoting the selected e-commerce companies of Incheon toparticipate in the bonded business districted and holding regular seminars;strengthening the exchange efforts in medical technology areas with Incheon,etc.

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