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(LEAD) Park: S. Korea, Iran can create win-win biz situation

All Headlines 19:26 May 03, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES with comments by Park in separate meeting; ADDS new photo)

TEHRAN, May 3 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye said Tuesday South Korea and Iran can produce a win-win situation if they work together in infrastructure projects in the Islamic Republic.

Iran is pushing to rebuild an economy and modernize its infrastructure after the U.N. lifted sanctions in a follow-up to a landmark deal reached with the United States and five world powers over Tehran's disputed nuclear program.

"I am here to pursue the path of common prosperity with old friend Iran,” Park said in a forum attended by some 450 South Korean and Iranian business executives and leaders in the Iranian capital.

On Monday, Park and Rouhani observed the signing of nearly 20 out of 66 memorandums of understanding worth up to US$45.6 billion after their summit.

Seoul hopes the MOUs could pave the way for South Korean companies to eventually win massive infrastructure projects under way in Iran.

She also said she expects the MOUs signed between the two governments on transportation and infrastructure as well as water resources to further boost bilateral cooperation down the line.

South Korea and Iran “can produce a win-win outcome in overall infrastructure” projects, including railways and airport, Park said at the business gathering.

The forum is part of South Korea’s efforts to help business executives from both countries build a network and facilitate economic cooperation.

More than 230 South Korean business executives and leaders have accompanied the president on her state visit to the Islamic Republic to explore new business opportunities.

Park also called for efforts to facilitate and diversify trade.

The trade volume between Korea and Iran stood at US$6.1 billion in 2015, compared with $17.4 billion in 2011. Rouhani said the two countries could boost bilateral trade to more than $30 billion in five years.

“I believe that my visit could serve as an important occasion to secure momentum for the development of bilateral relations and to strengthen substantial cooperation,” Park said in a separate meeting with nearly 20 representatives from the Korean community in Iran.

Iran is home to about 330 South Koreans, mostly businessmen and their families.

Separately, more than 120 South Korean companies held business meetings with more than 490 Iranian buyers at a hotel in Tehran on Monday. Some of them signed deals worth US$537 million with Iranian partners, according to South Korean officials.


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