Parliamentary Secretary: Economic cooperation between Latvia and South Korea has great potential

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Foreign Ministry’s Parliamentary Secretary, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, met with the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, Shim Jae-kwon, to discuss bilateral relations and cooperation in various international formats. The meeting focused on economic cooperation between the countries.

Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica noted that bilateral cooperation in politics, business, culture and education should be rated as dynamic and constructive. The officials confirmed their wish to continue the active political dialogue and expand the legal framework.

Although South Korea is one of the most important trade partners to Latvia in the Far East, it is possible to develop cooperation in transport, pharmaceuticals, timber industry, food processing and other sectors. The Parliamentary Secretary suggested that South Korean business missions should be organised to Latvia to explore opportunities for economic contacts and investments.

Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica said: “After signing of the Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the Republic of Korea in 2011, trade between Latvia and South Korea has increased four-fold. South Korea is currently one of Latvia’s main trade partners in the Far East.”

Both officials highlighted the significance of the upcoming visit by the President of Latvia, Raimonds Vējonis, to South Korea in February 2018. It is planned that the President will be accompanied by a delegation of Latvian entrepreneurs, who will take part in a business forum.

The parties shared views on developments in North Korea and expressed satisfaction at the convergence of opinions on the preferable course of action to resolve the situation on the peninsula.

The Parliamentary Secretary also pointed to the high potential for cooperation in education and science, and for student exchange in particular. The number of South Korean students at the Latvian higher education institutions is comparatively low at present; nevertheless, with education export being one of its priorities, Latvia is interested in attracting Korean students.

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