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Pres. Lee in Mexico to Discuss FTA during Summit Updated: 2010-07-01 00:00:00 KST

Korea and Mexico are to reaffirm their partnership and look into the prospects of a bilateral free trade agreement.
President Lee Myung-bak and First Lady Kim Yoon-ok arrived in Mexico on Wednesday local time for the last leg of their week-long trip to North and Central American countries.
The Korean President began his three-day state visit by paying respect to fallen soldiers from the 1847 Mexican-American War.
He also met members of the Korean diaspora in Mexico and asked them to strive to improve Korea-Mexico ties.
The two countries launched their diplomatic relations in 1962 and currently over 12-thousand Koreans reside in Mexico while 1,400 Korean firms are operating here as well.
And on the second day of his visit, the President is scheduled to hold a bilateral summit with Mexican President Felipe Calderon where the prospects of a bilateral free trade agreement are expected to top the agenda.
Korea and Mexico had two rounds of FTA negotiations in 2007 and 2008 but the two countries couldn't keep the momentum going due to the Mexican business circle's strong opposition to FTAs.
Mexico is Korea's number one Central American trading partner with the two-way trade volume surpassing 8 billion US dollars last year.
The Presidential Office added that the President will also discuss Korean firms' participation in Mexican infrastructure projects in transportation, information technology, and the modernization of oil refineries.


[Reporter : Kang Che-ry
cherykang@arirang.co.kr] "The South Korean President is also expected to ask for the Mexican government's support in his efforts to punish North Korea through the UN Security Council for the alleged torpedo attack on the South Korean warship Cheonan.
Kang Che-ry, Arirang News, Mexico City."
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