South Korea and Israel have concluded a sixth round of free trade agreement (FTA) talks. The negotiations took place in Jerusalem on March 13-15.

The two nations first began FTA negotiations back in May 2015. The FTA will expand bilateral trade and investment and also aims to remove customs duties and non-customs barriers based on World Trade Organization rules. Israel and South Korea have cited a potential to promote bilateral cooperation in high tech, innovative technology, manufacturing, services, investment, agriculture, and other fields.

In 2017, trade between Israel and South Korea reached $2.43 billion. South Korea's main exports include electrical machinery and equipment, vehicles, and computers. Its main imports are mineral fuels, electrical machinery and equipment, metals, and plastics. 

Israel has signed more than 10 free trade deals with 40+ countries. However, the country has not yet signed an FTA with an Asian country. An FTA with South Korea would represent an upgrade in Israel-Asia relations.  

Kim Ki-june, a senior ministry official leading the South Korean delegation, said, "We will try to strike a balance of interests between the two nations to reach a deal as soon as possible."

You can read more about this trade deal on Yonhap News Agency.