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(LEAD) Park pledges to support innovation in young people from S. Korea, France

All News 23:23 June 03, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES with Park laying wreath at tomb of the unknown soldier)

By Kim Kwang-tae

PARIS, June 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye vowed Friday to support the innovative activities of young people from South Korea and France, the latest in a series of steps to boost creativity.

Park has made the creative economy one of her top priorities by viewing it as the only viable growth engine for Asia's fourth-largest economy.

The creative economy is designed to, among other things, turn new ideas into real businesses with the help of cutting-edge science and information technology.

“I will support the innovative activities of talented young people from both countries by expanding the cooperation to schools of both countries,” Park said in a speech after receiving an honorary doctorate from Paris-Sorbonne University.

She also pledged to support the creative startups of both countries through cooperation between South Korea’s innovative centers and the French Tech Hub that France opened in Seoul in March.

South Korea has set up 17 innovation centers across the country to match up local startups and venture firms with conglomerates, known in South Korea as chaebol, which can provide resources to smaller companies so that they can turn creative ideas into real businesses.

Park said South Korea and France are optimal partners to open a new era, citing their cultural assets and technological prowess.

The ceremony came hours before Park is set to meet with French counterpart Francois Hollande -- the fourth such meeting between the two leaders.

Separately, Park laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier at the Triumphal Arch of the Star, a famous monument in Paris, before her motorcade headed down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées towards Élysée Palace with a 146-horse-strong mounted escort from the French -- all the trappings of a state visit.

The two leaders are expected to discuss how to strengthen ties and expand cooperation on the creative economy and cultural enhancement as well as how to coordinate policy on North Korea over its nuclear program, said presidential spokesman Jeong Yeon-guk.

The summit comes as Seoul and Paris commemorate the 130th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties.



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