Lee talks trade in Germany, France and Denmark

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Lee talks trade in Germany, France and Denmark


President Lee Myung-bak, right, and first lady, Kim Yoon-ok, leave for Germany yesterday to begin an eight-day trip of three European nations. The trip comes after Korea’s legislature approved a free trade agreement with the EU. [YONHAP]

President Lee Myung-bak and first lady Kim Yoon-ok left on a week-long trip to Germany, Denmark and France yesterday with a focus on boosting investment and trade with the European economies ahead of the implementation of a free trade agreement between Korea and the European Union.

The eight-day trip comes days after Korea’s parliament ratified the trade pact last week, enabling it to take effect in July as scheduled. The accord calls for eliminating 98 percent of import duties and other trade barriers over the next five years. The European Parliament approved the agreement in February.

After arriving in Berlin yesterday, Lee is scheduled to hold talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Christian Wulff today. Expanding trade and investment between the two countries will be a major topic for the meetings, along with cooperation in the area of “green growth” and other global matters, officials said.

“Germany is the largest stakeholder in the Korea-EU FTA because it is Europe’s biggest economy,” a senior presidential official said on the customary condition of anonymity.

Another key event in Lee’s trip to Berlin is a meeting with experts on the 1990 unification of East and West Germany. Lee is expected to seek their views on how best to prepare for unification with North Korea.

The four-day visit to Germany, which includes a stop in the financial center of Frankfurt, will also include meetings with the speaker of the lower house of Germany’s parliament and the mayor of Berlin and a round-table meeting in Frankfurt with the CEOs of major German firms.

Lee’s visit to Denmark, set for Wednesday and Thursday, is focused on green growth, one of Lee’s trademark policies that calls for seeking economic growth by promoting environment-friendly technologies and industries.

Lee and Danish Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen are scheduled to adopt a joint declaration on green growth at their summit set for Thursday. Lee also plans to attend the opening ceremony of the Danish branch of the Global Green Growth Institute, an international think tank that Seoul set up last year to study green growth strategies and policies.

On Thursday, Lee will head to Paris for a summit with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The two leaders are expected to focus discussions on ways to expand trade and investment and increase cooperation in the framework of the Group of 20 forum.

Korea hosted a G-20 summit in November last year and Paris is scheduled to host this year’s meeting.

The trip to Paris also includes a dinner reception to be hosted by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon.


한글 관련 기사 [연합]
李대통령, 유럽 3국 순방차 출국

이명박 대통령이 유럽 3개국 순방을 위해 8일 오전 전용기편으로 독일 베를린으로 출국했다.

이 대통령은 부인 김윤옥 여사와 함께 독일, 덴마크, 프랑스를 차례로 방문한 뒤 15일 귀국할 예정이다.

이 대통령은 9일 첫 방문국인 독일 베를린에서 앙겔라 메르켈 총리와 크리스티안 불프 대통령과 잇따라 정상회담을 갖고 양국 교역과 투자 확대, 녹색성장ㆍ재생에너지 분야의 협력 증진 방안을 논의한다.

또 독일 연방하원의장, 베를린 시장, 독일 주요 기업 최고경영자(CEO) 등과 면담하고 베를린과 프랑크푸르트에서는 동포들과 간담회를 한다.

이 대통령은 이어 11일 덴마크를 국빈 방문, 마그레테 2세 여왕과 만찬을 하고 12일에는 라스 뢰케 라스무슨 총리와 정상회담을 열어 '한ㆍ덴마크 전략적 동반자관계에 관한 공동성명'과 '한ㆍ덴마크 녹색협력을 위한 공동선언'을 발표한다.

이 대통령은 또 '글로벌 녹색성장 연구소(GGGI)' 코펜하겐 지사 개소식에 참석하고, 한ㆍ덴마크 녹색산업협의체 포럼에서 환경 보전과 경제 발전을 동시 추구하는 새로운 경제 패러다임에 대해 연설한다.

이 대통령은 13일 프랑스 파리에서 니콜라 사르코지 대통령과 정상회담을 열고 G20정상회의 전ㆍ현직 의장으로서 협력, 양국 교역과 투자 증진 방안 등에 대해 논의한다.

이어 프랑수아 피용 총리 만찬과 한ㆍ프랑스 경제인 간담회, 프랑스 석학들과 조찬간담회, 파리 7대학 방문 일정을 추진하고, 앙헬 구리아 경제협력개발기구(OECD) 사무총장과 이리나 보코바 유네스코 사무총장도 접견한다.
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