S. Korea to use aid fund to help Latin America develop: official

By 정주원
  • Published : Mar 30, 2014 - 14:01
  • Updated : Mar 30, 2014 - 14:01
South Korea will use its state-run Economic Development Cooperation Fund to support development in Latin America, the country's top economic policymaker said Saturday.

Seoul's finance minister Hyun Oh-seok said he signed a letter of intent with Luis Alberto Moreno, the president of the Inter-American Development Bank, that outlines South Korea's commitment to provide funds to assist with various infrastructure development projects.

The agreement was reached at the annual meeting of the IDB held in Costa do Sauipe, Brazil.

South Korea launched the EDCF in 1987 with an aim to help developing countries with loans that carry low interest rates. South Korea has been an IDB member since 2005, as the second Asian country to join it after Japan.

The finance ministry said the LOI will help expand existing cooperative ties and facilitate support down the line.

From 2011 through 2012, Seoul provided $100 million to help various projects in Bolivia, Honduras and Nicaragua.

It said South Korea's government and IDB will set out to select projects that can receive support from the fund.

The money is expected to help Asia's fourth-largest economy share its economic development experience with Latin American countries and assist South Korean companies gain market access that can strengthen two-way business ties.

In addition to the EDCF-IDB pact, Hyun said Seoul is committed to playing the part of a bridge between Asia and Latin America.

South Korea will host the next IDB meeting in Busan in 2015.

"Next year's meeting will help set long-term goals for the IDB and expand business opportunities and sharing of knowledge," he said in the welcoming speech at the four-day annual meeting, to run through Sunday, hosted by the resort town.

South Korea's ability to overcome the Asian financial crisis and the more recent global financial crisis can be attributed to close cooperation with the IDB, he added. (Yonhap)