President Lee Departs for 8-day Trip to Russia, Greenland, Norway and Kazakhstan
On this Friday, President Lee Myung-bak embarked on an eight-day trip to four nations -- Russia, Greenland, Norway and Kazakhstan.
On his first stop, the president is scheduled to attend the 20th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Vladivostok on Saturday and Sunday, where he will present a set of practical measures and projects the Korean government is pursuing as its contribution to regional integration and growth.
[Interview : Park Jeong-ha, Spokesperson
Cheong Wa Dae] "President Lee is expected to stress the need for cooperation among APEC member countries to overcome the global financial crisis."
Topping the agenda at this year's summit are trade and investment liberalization.. and the establishment of a supply chain capable of efficiently managing the cost, time and uncertainty of production, distribution and consumption of goods in the region.
The APEC leaders will also seek ways to cap rising international grain prices and discuss ways they can work together to nurture creativity as the basis of "innovative growth" in their respective countries.
President Lee will also travel to Greenland and Norway, to seek cooperation on various projects in the Arctic region,.. which is seen as providing NEW opportunities for eco-friendly and sustainable development.
According to a 2008 report by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Arctic region is estimated to hold 22 percent of the world's undeveloped natural resources, with 13 percent of global oil reserves and 30 percent of global natural gas deposits.
The Korean president also aims to strengthen strategic cooperation with Norway, whose so-called "High North Policy" has been characterized as the country's "most important strategic priority."
The agenda is expected to include discussion on the opening of a new North Pole sea route that will shorten the sailing time bewteen Europe and Asia.
President Lee's last stop will be Kazakhstan, where he will attend the groundbreaking ceremony for a coal-fired thermal power plant in Balkash, the biggest project jointly carried out by the two countries.
Eoh Jin-joo, Arirang News.
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