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S. Korea, Egypt Seek Cooperation in Nuke Power, Oil
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South Korea will beef up cooperation with Egypt in oil, nuclear power plants and many other areas as part of efforts to enhance its economic ties with the fast-growing African country, Seoul's top economic policymaker said Thursday.


The remarks were made by Finance Minister Yoon Jeung-hyun in his meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Boutros Ghali in Cairo. The visit is part of his first overseas tour, which also brought him to India earlier this week.


His travel to Egypt comes as the African country is fast emerging as a key business partner for Korea. Trade between the two countries reached a record high of US$2.85 billion during the January-November period last year.


"South Korea will work more closely with Egypt in infrastructure, finance, industrial complex construction, nuclear power plants, oil field development and fisheries," Yoon said.


South Korea also seeks to expand free trade agreements (FTAs), and Egypt will be one of countries that Seoul pays close attention to in that regard given its competitive labor costs and many other advantages, he said.


"South Korea pays attention to the spirit of Egypt, which has concluded many free trade agreements. We have also been expanding FTAs with leading economies such as the U.S., EU and India," the minister said.


"Egypt has attracted our attention with its stable politics, geographical advantage and competitive labor costs compared to other African countries," he noted.


He praised Egypt for its efforts to build a business-friendly environment and other reform drives despite the global financial and economic turmoil.


"South Korea applauds Egypt's reform efforts. Egypt is building a business-friendly environment to attract greater foreign capital and countries to foster its manufacturing sector," Yoon said.


"In addition, it is invigorating its tourism and agriculture industries, expanding exports and diversifying industries," the minster added.


Source: Yonhap News (Jan. 20, 2011)

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