South Korea's exports (Yonhap)
South Korea and France on Friday agreed to continue to support multilateralism over protectionism to overcome the economic fallout from the virus pandemic, and to expand cooperation in various areas from vaccines to green cars.
"This year, the two countries have worked deeply together in multilateral frameworks, such as the Group of 20 and the OECD, to promote the travel of products, services and workforces despite the COVID-19 pandemic," Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee said during her meeting with her French counterpart, Franck Riester, in Seoul.
The two trade chiefs acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked protectionism in global trade, with the escalating tension between the United States and China still being a threat.
"We also hope that the on-going joint project in developing COVID-19 treatments makes progress soon," Yoo added, expressing hope that the two countries can join hands in supplying vaccines as well.
South Korean and Senegalese branches of the Institut Pasteur have been working together since March to develop cures for COVID-19, under cooperation with France.
The two countries discussed ways to revitalize virus-hit economies through digital and green industries as well.
South Korea also requested that France expand its support on building infrastructure for eco-friendly automobiles, such as charging stations, pointing out the industry has been growing at a fast pace. (Yonhap)