Korea, China plan business talks

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Korea, China plan business talks

The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a business lobbying group, and the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, a think tank, on Thursday launched a gathering of business leaders from both countries to beef up economic cooperation.

Under a business agreement inked at the CCIEE headquarters in Beijing, the “Korea-China high-level dialogue of businessmen” consists of 10 business representatives, three former high-ranking government officials and one economic expert from each country. The body will meet for two days annually, alternating between Seoul and Beijing.

“We have launched a dialogue channel between corporate executives to step up bilateral communications and exchange and to support the sustainable progress of economic cooperation,” said the chamber in a statement. “Through the channel, we plan to discuss economic policies and deliver proposals to both governments if necessary, and support various economic and technological exchanges between businesses.”

The agreement comes on the sidelines of President Moon Jae-in’s visit to China, which over 200 small and large Korean businesses hope to use as a chance to resuscitate business ties with the world’s second-largest economy.

The attendees of the agreement signing ceremony were: KCCI Chairman Park Yong-maan; SK Chairman Chey Tae-won; KCCI Vice Chairman Kim Jun-dong; CCIEE Chairman Zeng Peiyan, who is also former Vice Premier of the State Council of China; and CCIEE Vice Chairman Zhang Xiaoqiang.

CCIEE was launched in 2009, with leading state-run and private businesses as members, including China National Petroleum, Chemchina, Sinochem, China Development Bank, China Construction Bank and China Eastern Airlines.

On the same day, Moon expressed his hope for more active Korea-China business relations in his opening speech for the Korea-China Economic and Trade Partnership ceremony. The event focused on trade and investment consultations between Korea’s small and mid-size companies and technology start-ups and Chinese buyers.

Without directly mentioning the frozen economic ties in the aftermath of China’s unofficial sanctions on Korean companies and products over Seoul’s decision to deploy a U.S.-led antimissile system, Moon hoped for a thaw in his speech.

“In China, the opening of an event begins with the striking of a gong,” Moon said. “In Korea, the sound of a gong sends away misfortune. Let’s forget the dark past with the sound of a gong and work together to build a stronger, fresher bilateral relationship.”

“The serious and passionate attitudes of the businessmen of the two countries reflect the strong friendship and bright future,” Moon also said, stressing that people-to-people exchanges and relations are the key to bolstering economic cooperation.

BY SEO JI-EUN, SER MYO-JA [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]
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