Presidents Kim and Ciampi Adopt Joint DeclarationItaly was President Kim Dae-jung's first stop on his four-nation European tour. On March 2 he had a summit meeting with Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi at the presidential palace in Rome. The two presidents agreed to promote a strategic alliance between the two nations' small enterprises.
The two presidents decided to adopt the "declaration of cooperation between small enterprises" and form the Korean-Italian Small Enterprises Industrial Cooperation Committee headed by the two nations' ministers of industry.
President Kim and President Ciampi have designated textiles, fashion, machinery, electronics, and electrical equipment as the areas for cooperation. They agreed to promote technological cooperation and joint ventures in Italy's textile and fashion industries and Korea's e-commerce and information and communications sector.
In addition, President Kim has placed importance on the fact that Italy is the first advanced nation in the West to establish diplomatic ties with North Korea. He requested that Italy make sufficient prior consultations with the South Korean government in the process of contacts with North Korea. It is known that President Ciampi agreed. Italy forged ambassador-level diplomatic relations with North Korea on January 4 this year. President Kim also asked for Italy's cooperation toward a successful Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) to be held in Seoul this September.
President Kim will have talks with Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema on the evening of March 3.
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