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South Korea to apply for CPTPP as China bid eases fears

Seoul's concern of angering big trade partner fades; timing remains undecided

A container terminal at Incheon port in Incheon. South Korea had been hesitant about joining a trade pact initially pushed by the U.S., partly due to concerns about damaging relations with Beijing.   © Reuters

SEOUL (Financial Times) -- South Korea will apply to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, after China's application to the regional trade pact assuaged Seoul's fears of upsetting its biggest trade partner.

Kwon Chil-seung, South Korea's minister for small and medium enterprises, told the Financial Times in an interview that concerns within the government about joining the CPTPP had been resolved.

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