South Korea and New Zealand will hold talks on the bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) this week to reach a compromise on remaining issues, Seoul's Trade Ministry said Tuesday.
The sixth round of FTA negotiations will be held in Seoul from Wednesday to Friday, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The bilateral talks had been suspended for around four years since May 2010 as South Korea sought the delay of liberalization in the agricultural sector, but the negotiations were resumed last month.
The ministry said it will seek, at the upcoming talks, to reach a compromise on the lingering issues in the service, investment, rule of origin and customs.
The upcoming round was expected to make great progress in concluding the long-stalled negotiations given that South Korea signed a separate FTA with Canada earlier this month only about five months after the talks were resumed following a five-year suspension.
Seoul has sought to come to agreement in FTA talks with members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to join the multilateral trade pact, which include Canada, Australia and New Zealand as well as the United States, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
South Korea kicked off preliminary talks last December with members of the TPP, which is a comprehensive but controversial free trade pact as it involves rules on not only trade and economy, but other sensitive issues such as labor, environment and state- owned enterprises.
New Zealand is South Korea's 44th-largest trade partner, with the bilateral trade reaching 2.89 billion U.S. dollars in 2013.