Korea, Chinese ministers confer on economic issues
Korea and China will boost cooperation on supply chains and carbon neutrality, the two countries’ finance ministers said in a meeting held virtually on Saturday.
The Korea-China ministerial meeting was held for the first time in two years due to the pandemic, participated in by Choo Kyung-ho, Korea’s Minister of Economy and Finance, and He Lifeng, the minister in charge of China's National Development and Reform Commission.
During the meeting, called the 17th Korea-China Meeting on Economic Cooperation, Choo and He signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on strengthening the two countries’ supply chains for the first time.
A high-level government committee on supply chains will be established as a part of the MOU. The two countries will actively communicate when uncertainties arise.
"The two countries also agreed on the need to strengthen cooperation in new industry fields, such as the hydrogen industry,” the finance ministry said in a press release. “We asked for the Chinese government’s extra attention in ensuring a stable and predictable environment for corporate partnerships.”
The two governments will expand their discussion of policy, which was formerly focused on managing fine dust levels, to achieving carbon neutrality.
“We have agreed to work together on climate and environmental fields by facilitating environmentally-friendly low-carbon developments and encouraging innovations in the industry through active cooperation and exchanges,” the ministry said.
Two additional MOUs were signed on enhancing practical partnerships and developing joint business projects in a third country.
To encourage partnerships between Korea and China, the two countries will hold an “economic exchange meeting” every year including government bodies, regional governments, companies and think tanks.
Korea and China will deepen their collaborations in five projects in third countries including a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility in Mozambique jointly invested in by the Korea Gas Corporation and the China National Petroleum Corporation.
The ministers also vowed to make joint efforts for the development of their services industries through joint research projects.
Seoul called for actual progress in service and investment negotiations under the bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA), particularly in such sectors as cultural content and game industries, and China proposed stronger cooperation in healthcare and sporting fields, according to the ministry.
Choo also sought China's support for Busan's bid to host the 2030 World Expo, according to the ministry.
The last such ministerial meeting was held in October 2020 via teleconferencing. The next will take place in Korea in 2023, the ministry said.
BY YOON SO-YEON, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]