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Leaders of Korea, Peru agree to further expand trade, investment

NEW YORK (Yonhap News) -- The leaders of South Korea and Peru agreed Thursday to further expand investment and trade between the two countries, building on progress made since their free trade agreement took effect last month, officials said.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Peru's new President Ollanta Humala met in New York on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. It was their first meeting since Humala was sworn in as president in late July.

Lee told Humala that trade volume between the two countries jumped a sharp 81 percent in just one month in August from last year, after the free trade deal went into effect on Aug. 1.

He added that the two countries should further boost their mutual trade and investment.

Humala agreed, saying he has a good impression of South Korea as he had worked as a military attache at Peru's Embassy in Seoul, the presidential office said in a statement.

In particular, Lee expressed hope the countries would strengthen cooperation in matters of energy, resources and infrastructure, saying Peru is South Korea's No. 1 destination among Central and South American nations for investment in resource-development.

Humala promised to help South Korean resource-development firms operate in Peru in a stable way, and asked South Korea to pay greater attention to making social contributions and transferring technology to Peru, the statement said.

The two leaders also agreed to cooperate closely on the international stage.

Lee invited Humala to visit South Korea at an early date, the office said.

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