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S. Korea, Belgium agree to enhance economic cooperation

Foreign ministers of South Korea and Belgium held talks in Seoul Tuesday, agreeing to enhance financial cooperation via the recently effected free trade pact, the Foreign Ministry here said.

South Korea’s Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan and his Belgian counterpart Steven Vanackere agreed on the importance of the government and firms of the two countries sharing effort in expanding financial exchanges, the ministry said in a statement. The two countries first entered into diplomatic relations 110 years ago. 
South Korea’s Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan (left) and his Belgian counterpart Steven Vanackere shake hands ahead of their talks in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap News)
South Korea’s Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan (left) and his Belgian counterpart Steven Vanackere shake hands ahead of their talks in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap News)

The two ministers appreciated the fact their countries have been able to develop friendly ties in the fields of politics, economy and culture during the past century, and that financial exchanges have also increased following the Korea-EU free trade deal that went into effect on July 1.

Kim asked for Belgium’s continued investment in South Korea and its cooperation in the upcoming nuclear security forum next year, the ministry said.

The Belgian minister also met with Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon during his visit to further discuss financial cooperation.

Two-way trade between South Korea and Belgium stood at $3.17 billion last year, according to the ministry.

Vanackere, who visited South Korea for the first time since taking office in November 2009, will end his three-day trip Wednesday.

By Shin Hae-in (hayney@heraldcorp.com)
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