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South Korea will not 'seek special treatment' from WTO as developing country during talks

South Korea will not 'seek special treatment' from WTO as developing country during talks

A general view of Seoul city skyline at dusk, pictured on May 9, 2014. (Photo: AFP/Ed Jones)

SEOUL: South Korea will no longer seek special treatment reserved for developing countries by the World Trade Organization in future negotiations given its enhanced global economic status, its finance minister said on Friday (Oct 25).

In late July, US President Donald Trump put pressure on the WTO to change how it designates developing countries, singling out China, with which the United States is engaged in a trade war, for unfairly getting preferential treatment.

South Korea's developing country status was self-designated.

"The government decided not to seek special treatment as a developing country from future negotiations at WTO," Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said in a media briefing.

Hong said this decision is "not to forego the developing country status, but is to not seek any special treatment from the negotiations going forward."

South Korea, Asia's fourth-largest economy, has maintained its developing country status as a member of the WTO since the body's creation in 1995, mainly to guard its agriculture industry.

The finance minister also said the government would make every effort to protect the country's agriculture industry.

Source: Reuters/rw

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