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Korea seeks South American opportunities

South Korea is seeking to bolster cooperation in energy and raw material with South America while conveying its rapid growth experience to countries in the region, the government said Tuesday.

South America has emerged a continent fall of opportunities for Korea despite its distance due to its abundance in natural resources such as crude oil and minerals, as well as its rapidly recovering local economy.

To boost that trend’s momentum, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy held a roundtable in Seoul on Tuesday, which was attended by government and business officials, as well as South American representatives in Korea.

Second Vice Minister Park Young-june said at the event that collaboration between Korea and South America is imperative for both sides to achieve sustainable growth.

“A stronger relationship will be forged should we combine South America’s energy resources and Korea’s economic development experience, and work together in green growth,” he said.

Peruvian ambassador to Korea Marcela Lopez Bravo said that the country will be able to offer favorable investment opportunities in resources development, infrastructure establishment and services industry through the free trade agreement between the two countries.

Experts from the academia and business circles also projected that the two sides could create synergy for green growth-related projects and official development aids.

The resource-deficient country has been striving to improve its energy security amid the ever-intensifying international competition regarding resources.

In particular, Korea has been aiming to expand development projects in South America by combining them with infrastructure establishment.

Local developers such as state-run Korea Resources Corp. have been at the forefront of such a drive.

Most recently, KORES signed a bilateral accord with Bolivia in a summit in August which allows Korean companies to take part in the South American country’s lithium resource development.

On a separate event, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance hosted an Inter-American Development Bank seminar in Seoul and shared the country’s finance management experience during and after the 2008-09 global economic crisis with officials from South America.

By Koh Young-aah (youngaah@heraldcorp.com)
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