5 Jul 2010

Hope held for free trade agreement with Korea

6:36 pm on 5 July 2010

A trade lobby group is hopeful a free trade agreement with Korea may be one step closer this week.

Prime Minister John Key is expected to address the second Korea New Zealand Business Roundtable in Seoul on Tuesday.

New Zealand International Business Forum says the meeting should help to cement the relationship the nations formed last year.

Executive director Stephen Jacobi says Korea is New Zealand's seventh largest trading partner and it has a strong and growing economy.

Mr Jacobi says the Korean economy is looking at growth rates of 4% - 5% over the next two years.

He says they want to see what effect that's had on the business environment and take stock of progress made in the free trade agreement and see what can be done from a business perspective to support it.

Mr Jacobi says Korean businesses are increasingly willing to negotiate trade agreements with other countries.

While hopeful Korea will have an interest in joining the Trans Pacific Partnership, he expects it to finalise its agreement with the United States first.