Published : 2013-09-06 20:26
Updated : 2013-09-06 20:26
South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev agreed Friday to build on massive construction projects already underway between the two countries to further expand economic cooperation, an official said.
South Korean companies are working on large-scale projects worth a combined $8 billion. They include building a coal-fired power plant in the southern Kazakh city of Balkhash and a petrochemical complex in Atyrau on the northern banks of the Caspian Sea.
During the bilateral summit held on the sidelines of a summit of the world's top 20 economies in Russia's second-largest city of St. Petersburg, Nazarbayev spoke about the existing projects and said he hopes to expand such cooperation, according to senior presidential foreign affairs secretary Ju Chul-ki.
Park said in response that she also hopes the existing projects will go smoothly so that they will serve as a catalyst for expanding cooperation to other areas, such as mineral resources development and renewable energy, according to Ju.
Park also said that her government puts a foreign policy focus on expanding cooperation with Central Asian nations. She praised Kazakhstan for giving up its nuclear weapons and making a big stride in economic development under Nazarbayev's leadership.
Nazarbayev expressed active support for Seoul's policy on North Korea, and said his country is ready to share its experience of abandoning nuclear weapons for the resolution of the North Korean nuclear standoff.
The Kazakh leader also asked for Seoul's support for the country's bid to join the World Trade Organization, and Park said Seoul will provide possible cooperation.
Park offered to share South Korea's experience of organizing last year's Yeosu Expo to help Kazakhstan successfully host the 2017 Astana Expo. Nazarbayev welcomed the offer, the official said. (YONHAP)