China and the Republic of Korea (ROK) on Thursday agreed to push for the completion of a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA). The consensus was reached during talks held between President Xi Jinping and ROK President Park Geun-hye. The two sides reconfirmed that the goal of creating a China-ROK free trade zone is to reach a high-level and comprehensive free trade pact. The two leaders welcomed the progress that has been made in FTA negotiations and instructed negotiation teams on both sides to strengthen their efforts in order to push the negotiations into their next phase, according to a joint statement issued Thursday. The two sides agreed to extend their currency swap arrangement and discuss the possible expansion of their swap volume. They also vowed to deepen bilateral financial and monetary cooperation. In the joint statement, the two sides pledged to enhance economic and trade cooperation, as well as coordination on macroeconomic policies. They will expand cooperation in the areas of information and communication technology, energy, environment and climate change, according to the statement. The two sides will also strengthen and expand communication channels in order to share experience in the areas of health, food security and demographic changes, it said. During their talks, Xi and Park also agreed to enhance people-to-people exchanges between the two countries. They decided to establish a joint committee on people-to-people exchanges and agreed to expand exchanges in education, culture, media, tourism, youth and local regions. The two sides will beef up bilateral consular cooperation to facilitate personnel exchanges and safeguard the security, legitimate rights and interests of their people, according to the statement.