208 businessmen fly to Russia

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208 businessmen fly to Russia

Two hundred and eight business figures from 101 companies joined President Moon Jae-in on his four-day state visit to Russia with the aim of stepping up cooperation in manufacturing, cutting-edge technologies, medicine and energy.

According to the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), which is leading the business delegation, a Korea-Russia business forum is slated to take place on Friday local time attended by 130 businessmen from Russia. KITA and the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a business lobbying group, alternate in hosting business forums each time President Moon visits a foreign country.

“Businessmen from both countries want to beef up partnerships in manufacturing, high-tech industries and energy development and to link railroads between the two countries via North Korea,” said KITA in a release.

Moon’s state visit to Russia comes just nine days after a summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and expectations are high for North Korea joining the South Korea-Russia economic partnership in many projects.

The Korean government also hopes to create synergy by combining Russia’s cut-throat technologies in basic science and Korea’s applied ICT technologies.

“Russia is powerful in basic science, national defense and space,” said Kim Hyun-chul, the president’s economic adviser, in a briefing Monday. “Korean companies already have a history of using those technologies to tangible effect - skin and laser therapy, for instance.”

During Moon’s visit, the two countries will agree to establish a scientific cooperation center in Korea and expand an already established center in Russia, Kim said.

Medical cooperation will also be emphasized. Seoul National University Bundang Hospital will be running Russian hospitals, while Severance Hospital will set up a health care center in Russia. KT, the second-largest mobile carrier in Korea, will launch a pilot remote medical service.

The delegation will consist of 208 corporate executives from 20 large companies, 65 small and medium-sized firms and 16 public companies. By industry, 12 large companies are in manufacturing, three are in trade and two are in construction. The remaining four fields are logistics, communication and service.

Major business figures from large companies include Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Yoon Boo-keun, Hyundai Motor President Chung Jin-haeng, LG Electronics Vice Chairman Jo Sung-jin, LS Chairman Koo Jae-yeol, SK Innovation CEO Kim Jun, Lotte Vice Chairman Song Yong-deuk, and Hanwha Corp. CEO Lee Min-seok.

Notably, Hyundai Group Chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun joined the delegation amid renewed interest in the potential resumption of inter-Korean economic cooperation.

BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]
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