Park books trips to Russia, Vietnam

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Park books trips to Russia, Vietnam

President Park Geun-hye will visit Russia and Vietnam next month to kick-start her so-called “sales diplomacy” mission aimed at boosting economic cooperation with other nations, the Blue House announced yesterday.

Park will be in St. Petersburg from Sept. 4 to 7 to attend the Group of 20 summit, the presidential office said. Following that, she will make a state visit to Vietnam from Sept. 7 to 11 at the invitation of Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang.

Next month’s G-20 will be the eighth meeting of the leaders of the world’s top 20 economies. This time around, they will focus on growth through quality jobs and investment, trust and transparency, and effective regulation.

“It will be Park’s debut as president in the multilateral diplomatic arena,” the Blue House said.

At the request of host country Russia, Park will give a speech to stress the importance of resolving issues of low growth and high unemployment. She will also talk about her administration’s creative economy ideas and goal of a 70-percent employment rate, the Blue House said.

The presidential office said Park will also promote the development agenda initiated at the 2010 G-20 summit in Seoul.

“Park will stress the importance of implementing the agreements made at the G-20 in order to heighten public confidence in the forum and develop it further,” the Blue House said.

According to the Blue House, bilateral summits are being set up between Park and other leaders on the sidelines of the event.

There has been much speculation that she may meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Amid tense bilateral relations, Japan’s foreign minister proposed a meeting to the Korean ambassador to the country, but sources from the Blue House and Foreign Ministry in Seoul said yesterday that no specific plans have been made.

After Russia, Park will meet with the Vietnamese president in Vietnam on Sept. 9. The summit will address the future vision for bilateral relations and other cooperative measures in various fields.

The two leaders are expected to adopt a joint statement to strengthen the strategic cooperative partnership between the two nations.

Economic issues will be an important focus, with Park promoting Korean participation in Vietnamese nuclear power plant projects.

Park already expressed her desire to export Korean nuclear plant technology during a meeting last month with Nguyen Sinh Hung, the chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly.

Vietnam plans to build 20 nuclear power plants by 2030.

Park will also address efforts to forge a free trade agreement between the two countries, the Blue House said. Korea and Vietnam managed to hit the $20 billion trade volume mark three years faster than their goal, the Blue House also noted.

During her visit, Park will also visit Ho Chi Minh City, which is home to some 1,800 Korean companies and 70,000 Koreans.

“Park chose Vietnam, a major Southeast Asian country, to promote her sales diplomacy efforts during the second half of the year,” the Blue House said. “Her decision shows that Korea appreciates the newly rising economic power of Asean, an important economic partner of our country.”


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