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The chambers of commerce from South Korea and Japan on Tuesday called for closer economic cooperation and investment in the face of growing global uncertainties.
At the sixth bilateral chamber of commerce meeting in Busan, 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul, Sohn Kyung-shik, the head of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), said despite unfavorable economic conditions, two-way trade surpassed the US$100 billion mark for the first time in 2011.
He said the growth was made possible by continued efforts by businesses from the two countries to expand trade and investments.
The KCCI chief added that South Korea and Japanese companies can cooperate in areas such as environmental conservation, biotech and industrial materials, as well as work together to cope with potential energy shortages down the road, low birthrates and rapid population aging that threaten sustainable growth of the two countries.
In response, Tadashi Okamura, a chairman of the Japan
Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), said there has been a move by Japanese
small and medium enterprises to go abroad that could fuel business cooperation
between the neighboring countries.
South Korean businessmen at the
gathering, meanwhile, called on the JCCI to do more to get Japanese firms to
expand overseas operations. They pointed out that because Seoul has free trade
pacts with the United States and the European Union, setting up businesses in
South Korea could give Japanese companies an advantage when exporting