President Park discusses better economic ties with visiting Singaporean PMUpdated: 2013-12-12 (KST)
The bilateral summit between President Park Geun-hye and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong mainly focused on laying the path to further economic cooperation between the two countries.
The two leaders, in their summit talks on Wednesday, saw eye-to-eye on the need for Korea and Singapore to strengthen cooperation to develop new areas of growth.
"The two countries now face a common task of having to take a new step forward based on creativity and innovation."
"With new expectation, new domestic social problems differently but with some simiIarities. I think that we can learn from each other's experience."
The two leaders promised to work together in entering third markets, especially ASEAN member countries, combining Korea's competitiveness in the construction, IT and manufacturing sectors and Singapore's strength in finance and distribution.
Another important field of cooperation is in research and development.
The two sides decided to open the first meeting of a joint science and technology committee, set up back in 1997, and also signed a bio-medical MOU to expand their technological cooperation to the nano-robot industry.
"The summit talks with Lee were President Park's last of 2013. It's been a busy year on the diplomatic stage for the president. Since her inauguration in February, she's held a total of 30 bilateral summits with world leaders and made five overseas trips to the U.S., China, Russia, Southeast Asia and Europe."
She was successful in securing support for her North Korea policy from other countries, including permanent member nations of the UN Security Council.
Through her sales diplomacy, Korea saw progress in FTA talks with many nations, including Indonesia, Vietnam and Canadaand won support for Korean companies.
However, there remain challenges for President Park when it comes to China and Japan.
China's unilateral announcement of a new air defense zone has raised tensions in the region, and the Korean government still has unresolved matters with Tokyo, such as the Japanese government's push to exercise its collective self-defense and other historical issues.
Eoh Jin-joo, Arirang News.
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