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By Kang Yoon-seung
SEOUL, Oct. 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Britain agreed Monday to maintain their trade ties after the scheduled end of the transition period of London's departure from the European Union and to form a deeper bond to overcome the economic jitters caused by the pandemic.
Seoul's Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo met Alok Sharma, Britain's secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, in Seoul to discuss the two countries' post-pandemic cooperation, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
Britain is one of the key trade partners for Asia's No. 4 economy, standing as the second-largest export destination in Europe for South Korea after Germany.
Major economies around the globe, including South Korea, have been closely monitoring London's divorce from the EU, as the separation would mean that their economic and trade deals with the economic bloc will no longer be valid for Britain.
To avoid a possible hard landing, South Korea and Britain signed an FTA in 2019 that will be implemented even after London formally leaves the bloc.
Trade between the two countries reached US$9.7 billion in 2019, with South Korea's outbound shipments to the European country estimated at $5.5 billion.
Seoul also asked for London's support for the upcoming P4G summit, which South Korea plans to host next year.
P4G, which stands for Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030, is a public-private initiative aimed at tackling climate change and other sustainable development goals.
Sung expressed hope to participate in construction projects for nuclear power plants in Britain as well.
South Korea, which has been making efforts to slowly reduce its dependence on nuclear energy at home, is seeking to participate in overseas construction projects, based on its successful penetration into the United Arab Emirates.
The South Korean minister asked London to lend a hand to Seoul's bid to become the new leader of the World Trade Organization. South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee has recently made it to the final round of the selection process, along with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria.
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Source: Yonhap News (Oct 26, 2020)** This article was translated from Korean.