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Korea to boost energy ties with Latin America

A Korean delegation team led by Second Vice Minister of Knowledge Economy Park Young-june will visit South America from April 26 to May 5 in an effort to boost energy ties with the region, the ministry said Monday.

The delegation, which includes officials and local developers, will tour Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Peru, the ministry said. Officials from state-run firms Korea Electric Power Corp., Korea National Oil Corp., and Korea Resources Corp., as well as those from private developers and builders are to accompany Park.

The group plans to discuss furthering Korean firms’ participation in projects such as mineral development and nuclear energy in the region with the countries, ministry officials said.

The resource-deficient country has been striving to ensure a stable energy supply amid the ever-intensifying international competition regarding resources, which resulted from soaring demand from emerging economy countries such as China and India.

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

Public developers including KNOC and KORES as well as private firms including SK Innovation, Tong Yang Cement have been expanding their presence in the region over the years.

Latin American countries are known for their abundance in resources such as crude oil and minerals. Venezuela, for instance, has the largest crude oil reserves with around 297 billion barrels.

Korea is aiming to combine resource development projects with infrastructure establishment and share its rapid, unique growth experience.

Alongside discussions on energy and resources cooperation, the group will initiate talks about free trade agreements with Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela, the ministry said.

It will also push for a prompt execution of post-FTA measures with Peru. Korea and Peru officially signed a bilateral FTA on March 21.

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