Yoon meets leaders of three Central Asian countries and holds business forums

백종원 기자l승인2024.07.09l수정2024.07.09 15:36







Yoon meets leaders of three Central Asian countries

President Yoon made state visits to Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan in turn. The visit was aimed at enhancing cooperation in the supply chain of key minerals and supporting the expansion of energy and infrastructure business of Korean companies operating there. He drew support from Central Asian countries for the 'Korea-Central Asia K-Silk Road Cooperation Initiative', reached a consensus with each country on the need for North Korea's denuclearization, and urged compliance with UN Security Council resolutions. In Turkmenistan, contracts worth $6 billion (approximately KRW 8.26 trillion) were signed in the plant field, including the gas field desulfurization facility project, plant normalization project, and ammonia fertilizer plant construction project. 

In Kazakhstan, a 'Core Mineral Supply Chain Cooperation Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)' was signed, and Korea's participation throughout the entire cycle from geological survey of core minerals to exploration, development, refining, smelting, and commercialization is guaranteed. Uzbekistan, which has a special strategic partnership with Korea, signed an MOU for cooperation in key minerals supply chain cooperation.

Uzbekistan is also a resource-rich country possessing uranium, molybdenum, and tungsten. A 'Railway Corporation 6 high-speed train supply contract' worth 270 billion won was also signed between Hyundai Rotem, Korea Railroad Corporation, and Uzbekistan Railroad Corporation. Korea also decided to support Uzbekistan's process of joining the World Trade Organization (WTO). President Yoon explained the vision of the ‘K-Silk Road Cooperation Initiative’ to the leaders of the three countries and gained their support. In line with this achievement, Yoon plans to hold a Korea-Five Central Asian countries summit in Seoul in 2025. "As another emerging strategic regional diplomacy, it means that the Korean government's vision for global pivotal diplomacy has been realized to a significant extent. The Korean government supports more companies and experts to actively interact with Central Asia, and startups in particular take on bold challenges. We will pioneer the ‘K-Silk Road of Opportunity’” said Yoon. 


Yoon holds business forums

In his keynote speech at the business forum held with Turkmenistan, President Yoon encouraged the hard work of businesspeople, saying that exchanges between the two countries have steadily expanded since the first Korean company won the order for Galkinish gas field desulfurization equipment in 2009. He said that Turkmenistan, the world's fourth-largest natural gas holder, and Korea, which has industrialization experience and advanced technology, have much to do together in the future, and that the two countries should further speed up economic cooperation like Turkmenistan's famous horse 'Ahal Teke'. He said that Korean companies are being recognized for their technology and capabilities by successfully constructing a number of plants in Turkmenistan with the world's best construction capabilities, and that he hopes that Korean companies will continue to actively participate in Turkmenistan's plant projects. He hopes that exchanges and cooperation between companies from both countries will become more active based on the recently concluded Trade and Investment Promotion Framework (TIPF), and that the Investment Protection Agreement will be completed as soon as possible to lay an institutional foundation for companies to invest with confidence. In his keynote speech at the business forum with Kazakhstan, Yoon said that since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992, Kazakhstan has become Korea's largest trading and investing country in Central Asia, and emphasized that Korea and Kazakhstan, which have complementary industrial structures, should further expand the horizons of economic cooperation. To this end, Kazakhstan, he said, a resource-rich country, and Korea, which has processing technology and demand industries, should strengthen supply chain cooperation focusing on key minerals. He said that Korea will be a partner that plays a key role in upgrading Kazakhstan's infrastructure such as transportation, power, and gas, and that he expects Korean companies with proven construction capabilities and reliability to participate more actively in Kazakhstan's infrastructure development. At the forum, a total of 24 cases, including MOUs and agreements, were signed between companies and institutions of the two countries. In his keynote speech at the business forum with Uzbekistan, Yoon said that economic cooperation between the two countries began 30 years ago in 1994, when the Daewoo Motors factory broke ground in Asaka, and that Uzbekistan is now a member of the Central Asian automobile industry, producing 400,000 cars annually.

He said that Korea will move forward together into the future by cooperating with Uzbekistan, a key country in Central Asia. He said that he would like to establish a ‘core mineral supply chain partnership’ between the two countries, and emphasized that Uzbekistan, which is rich in core minerals, and Korea, which has excellent processing technology, can be optimal partners for each other. He said that in order for Uzbekistan to continue its high growth, it is important to build efficient infrastructure and provide stable energy supply, and that Korean companies can add know-how and technology to expand Uzbekistan's infrastructure such as transportation and district heating. The forum saw the final signing of the protocol on bilateral negotiations for Uzbekistan's WTO accession alongside its WTO accession process.

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