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Moon heads to Singapore for summit with Prime Minister Lee

All Headlines 13:20 July 11, 2018

NEW DELHI, July 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in headed to Singapore on Wednesday, wrapping up his first trip to India that involved meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top government officials.

Moon's departure came four days after he arrived here for a state visit.

The South Korean president and Modi held talks Tuesday on ways to enhance the countries' economic and diplomatic relations.

In their second bilateral summit since Moon took office last year, the leaders agreed to expand their economic cooperation to small and medium-sized enterprises, including startups.

They also vowed efforts to quickly conclude the countries' ongoing negotiations on expanding their free trade agreement, known as the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

Seoul and New Delhi have held five rounds of negotiations to further liberalize their markets under their bilateral free trade pact that went into effect at the start of 2010.

Moon's visit here has also allowed him to form a personal relationship with the Indian head of state, who even agreed to accompany the South Korean president for a rare visit to a South Korean company here.

The two attended the inaugural ceremony of a mobile factory of Samsung Electronics Co. in Noida, India.

India is at the heart of Moon's New Southern Policy that seeks to greatly improve South Korea's economic and diplomatic ties with its Asian neighbors, including the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

It is also one of the world's fastest growing economies, whose population is expected to reach over 1.5 billion in 2030, making it the world's single largest market.

Moon is set to arrive in Singapore later in the day.

He will hold a summit with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong before returning home Friday.

The trip will mark the first state visit to Singapore by a South Korean president in 15 years, Moon's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said earlier.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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