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Seoul, Washington eye closer ties in global supply chain, vaccine delivery

Economy 08:11 September 14, 2021

By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the United States have agreed to maintain close ties in the goal supply chain and continue to make joint efforts to speed up the delivery of vaccines around the globe, the trade ministry said Tuesday.

South Korean Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo met his U.S. counterpart, Katherine Tai, in Washington on Monday (U.S. time) and shared ideas on ways to cope with the changing business environment amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

During the meeting, the two also agreed to make joint efforts to normalize the World Trade Organization (WTO) and come up with significant results at the 12th Ministerial Conference of the Geneva-based body, which is scheduled to kick off on Nov. 30.

Seoul, Washington eye closer ties in global supply chain, vaccine delivery - 1

Yeo also suggested Tai establish a new channel in which the two countries can closely cooperate in maintaining a stable supply chain. Washington said it will review the proposal.

The two countries agreed to join hands in expanding the supply of COVID-19 vaccines around the globe as well.

In June, South Korea and the U.S. established a senior-level expert group to bolster their vaccine partnership as a follow-up to their summit.

President Moon Jae-in and his American counterpart, Joe Biden, agreed to establish a comprehensive KORUS Global Vaccine Partnership during their White House summit talks in May.

It is intended to "strengthen joint response capabilities for infectious diseases through international vaccine cooperation, including focus areas on the global expansion of production and related materials, as well as scientific and technological cooperation," their joint statement read.

Yeo and Tai also vowed to cooperate with other global issues, including climate change. Both countries have been making efforts to cut the emission of greenhouse gases with a vision to go carbon neutral by 2050.

It was Yeo's first in-person meeting with a top U.S. trade official since he took office in August.

colin@yna.co.kr
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