S. Korea eyes more trade with Asean

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SEOUL: South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Friday offered a set of proposals to the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) as part of Seoul’s efforts to further boost ties with one of the world’s fastest-growing regions.

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Park said South Korea will raise its contribution to a cooperation fund by $2 million to $7 million next year for a wide-range of projects in the region, including human resources development. Park also set $200 billion as a new target amount for trade between South Korea and Asean, compared with $135 billion last year, by facilitating their free trade agreement.

South Korea has contributed about $67 million to the Asean-South Korea Cooperation Fund following the establishment of dialogue between the two sides in 1989.

“We should upgrade the strategic partnership with more substantial cooperation,” Park said in a speech at a summit with her Southeast Asian counterparts in Busan.

The leaders are gathered in this South Korean port city for a two-day special summit to lay out a blueprint for cooperation between the two sides.

Park unveiled a plan to invite about 100 people in science and engineering fields from the region each year for training programs in South Korea.

She also voiced hope to share South Korea’s development experience with Southeast Asian countries through Seoul’s “Saemaeul Movement,” or new community movement.

YONHAP NEWS AGENCY

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