China and South Korea have pledged efforts to promote economic and trade cooperation with the focus on a free trade agreement.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said his country is willing to work with Seoul to build a comprehensive and high-level free trade area at an early date.
Promoting free trade and investment facilitation can be a silver bullet for the slow global economic recovery, Li told South Korean President Park Geun-hye at a meeting on the sidelines of an Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit in Milan.
He said economic cooperation between China and South Korea will benefit not only the two sides, but also the development and prosperity of East Asia as a whole.
Noting that bilateral ties are in a period of rapid and all-around development, Li urged the two sides to strengthen cooperation in finance, new energy and advanced technology.
China also stands ready to maintain close high-level exchanges, deepen pragmatic cooperation and strengthen people-to-people exchanges with South Korea, the Chinese premier said.
Park expressed the hope that talks on a free trade agreement could be finished by the end of the year, saying her country is willing to further expand cooperation with China in economics and trade, and finance.
Park also mentioned the goal of raising bilateral trade to 300 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 to boost the competitiveness of the two countries and promote sustainable development of their economies.
She hailed Li's speech at the ASEM summit, saying it will vigorously advance the cooperation between Asian and European nations.
Li and Park also exchanged views on regional and global issues of common concern.