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S. Korea, Thailand discuss ways to cooperate in auto, infrastructure

All Headlines 17:31 May 17, 2018

SEOUL, May 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Thailand have discussed ways to expand cooperation in auto and infrastructure projects to promote trade and investment between the two nations, Seoul's trade ministry said Thursday.

Paik Un-gyu, South Korean minister of trade, industry and energy, made a two-day visit to the Southeast Asian nation from Tuesday to meet with Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and other senior policymakers.

Paik Un-gyu, South Korean minister of trade, industry and energy (L), shakes hands with Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha (R) after their meeting in Bangkok on May 16, 2018, in this photo provided by the ministry. (Yonhap)

Paik's trip was aimed at boosting economic ties with the key partner as part of the Moon Jae-in administration's drive to reach out to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and explore new business opportunities, the ministry said.

In meetings with Thailand's industrial and energy ministers, Paik discussed ways to expand collaboration in development of electric vehicles customized for Thailand's public transportation needs.

South Korea is the world's sixth-largest auto manufacturing country, while Thailand is a leading production hub in Southeast Asia.

As Thailand is seeking to develop its eastern provinces into a leading ASEAN economic zone by 2021, Paik said the government will encourage Korean companies to expand their investment in the development of infrastructure such as ports, airports and railways, according to his office.

About 400 Korean companies are operating in Thailand, mostly in the electronics, steel and auto parts manufacturing sectors, according to the ministry.

The countries mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties this year. In 2012, the countries upgraded their bilateral relationship to a "strategic partnership."


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