Roh, Argentine Leader Agree to Boost Economic Ties

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Roh, Argentine Leader Agree to Boost Economic Ties

 

November 24, 2004


President Roh Moo-hyun and Argentine President Nestor Carlos Kirchner agreed in Buenos Aires on November 15 that the two countries take specific steps to boost economic exchanges and consolidate cooperation on energy resources.

As one such step, the two leaders promised to conduct a joint feasibility study on a trade agreement between Korea and Mercosur, the common market of South America involving Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.

In their joint summit statement, both sides agreed to develop a bilateral relationship that will enable comprehensive cooperation for the 21st century to deepen exchanges in all the fronts.

"With the summit agreement, South Korea and Argentina have come to forge substantial cooperation and strengthen mutual confidence by restoring their bilateral ties, which suffered a setback in the wake of economic crisis of the two sides (in the late 1990s)," said Chung Woo-seong, Roh's foreign policy adviser.

During the summit, Kirchner expressed support for South Korea's bid to join the Inter-American Development Bank and agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation through the institute once South Korea participates in it, presidential spokesman Kim Jong-min said.

As Roh has stepped up his efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear problem, he asked assistance from Kirchner on the issue and his Argentine counterpart expressed support, Kim said.

Following the Roh-Kirchner summit, senior officials of South Korea and Argentina signed a set of agreements for cooperation on the economy, and in culture and energy and information technology.

Under an agreement on IT cooperation, the two sides will establish committees to work together on developing software, mobile telecommunications solutions, high-speed Internet, electronic government, exchange of IT experts and introducing native-language Internet addresses.

The Korea Export-Import Bank and the Central Bank of Argentina signed a memorandum of understanding for an extension of $30 million in export credits to the South American country to help South Korean companies export ships, plants and other products there.

Roh's visit to Argentina, the second of its kind by a South Korean president, following former President Kim Young-sam's trip in 1996, is expected to be a major boost for economic exchanges between the two countries.

The volume of trade between South Korea and Argentina reached about $590 million last year, with Korea exporting $160 million in goods and importing $430 million of mostly natural resources and produce.

After the summit, Roh attended a luncheon meeting with Argentine businessmen, met parliamentary leaders and had dinner with Kirchner before his departure for Brazil on November 16, the second leg of his three-nation tour to South America that also includes Chile.

 

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