PHNOM PENH, March 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in urged increased cooperation between his country and Cambodia on Friday, saying it will not only ensure their joint development but also help establish peace in the region.
"Cambodia and South Korea are becoming very important economic partners that cannot do without each other," the president said in a joint business forum hosted by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.
The South Korean president is on a three-day state visit that began Thursday.
The business forum, involving 300 top officials and business leaders from both countries, followed a summit between Moon and Hun Sen, in which the leaders vowed joint efforts to further expand their countries' economic cooperation.
Bilateral trade between South Korea and Cambodia reached a record high of nearly US$1 billion last year, Moon noted.
"Such cooperation between the two countries is further enriching the lives of the people of our two countries and strengthening their friendship," Moon told the meeting, held at the Cambodian prime minister's office, the Peace Palace.
"When Cambodia's Rectangular Strategy meets South Korea's New Southern Policy, it will form one strong wave just like when the Mekong River meets Lake Tonle Sap," he added.
To this end, the South Korean leader called for increased cooperation in infrastructure, technology and fair trade practices.
"First, (we) seek to enhance our cooperation in building social infrastructure, which is closely related to the lives of the people," he said.
Such areas of cooperation will include the energy sector, Moon said.
"Electric power and energy are areas with a high need for cooperation between the two countries. As both countries share a common goal of greatly increasing the ratio of renewable energy in the near future, they may be able to create synergy if they work together," he said.
Moon also promised increased support for Cambodia's pursuit of advanced technologies.
"We seek to strengthen technology cooperation between the two countries to ensure sustainable development," he said.
The South Korean leader highlighted the need for freer and fairer conditions for trade and investment, saying a memorandum of understanding for cooperation on investment signed earlier in the day will help promote investment between the two countries.
"Signing a tax treaty on double taxation will greatly help promote investment between the countries. I hope for an early conclusion of our negotiations," he said.
The president also called for joint efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, saying it will create many new opportunities for businesses from both countries.
"Should we realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and establishment of permanent peace, it will open many new opportunities for you businesspeople by expanding the possibility of economic cooperation between the two countries," said Moon.
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