By Kang Yoon-seung
SEOUL, Sept. 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Germany on Wednesday vowed to beef up their economic ties centering on the energy sector, which will play a significant role in the recovery of their virus-hit economies.
Seoul's energy and trade officials held a virtual meeting with their German counterparts and discussed a wide array of issues, including expanding cooperation in the education and green energy segments, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The meeting came after the two countries agreed to launch working groups on the two countries' economic issues related to trade, industry and energy in December last year.
In May, the two countries vowed to expand cooperation in developing sustainable energy technology and phasing out nuclear power plants.
Officials discussed ways to foster trade and investment between the two countries as well.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, South Korea said the country maintained close trade ties with Germany over the January-June period. Trade between the two countries came to US$14.5 billion over the first half of 2020, rising 6 percent from the previous year.
South Korea's exports of pharmaceutical products, especially, more than doubled to reach $661 million.
During the meeting, the ministry also requested Germany to support the South Korean candidate running for the top seat at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee is currently competing against candidates from seven countries -- Mexico, Nigeria, Egypt, Moldova, Kenya, Saudi Arabia and Britain. The final result is widely anticipated to be delivered in early November.
(News Focus) No parcel day: Why S. Korean delivery workers are taking a day off on Aug. 14
Advertising controversy grips S. Korean mukbang YouTubers
Seoul's last-ditch home supply plan still in doubt over its viability
Korean foodmakers ramp up overseas push amid COVID-19 pandemic
Bumpy road lies ahead for Samsung, even after heir avoids detention