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SEOUL, Nov 21 (Bernama) -- South Korea and Ecuador on Monday began the eighth round of talks on the formation of a bilateral free trade deal, reported Yonhap quoting the trade ministry.
The two nations launched negotiations for the Strategic Economic Cooperation Agreement (SECA), a type of free trade pact, in 2016 and held five rounds of talks that year. The sixth round took place in July after a six-year hiatus.
The latest round of talks will continue through Friday, and they will take place in Quito in Ecuador according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy.
The two sides seek to speed up negotiations to clinch a deal on a range of issues, including manufactured goods, services, and procurement, as well as ways to boost supply chains of energy and key minerals, the ministry said.
The South American nation is rich in natural resources, such as copper, zinc, and gold.
If the deal is reached, South Korea will be the first Asian country to have a free trade agreement with Ecuador.
Ecuador is South Korea's sixth major export destination, with the bilateral trade volume coming to US$968 million in 2021, according to government data.
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