By Kang Yoon-seung
SEOUL, Sept. 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's trade ministry said Tuesday it is seeking to forge a deeper partnership with Italy in the biotechnology and eco-friendly energy segments to brace for the post-pandemic recovery and seek sustainable economic growth.
South Korea and Italy plan to hold their first round of the strategic meetings for bilateral cooperation in industry and energy in Rome on Tuesday (Italy time), according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The meeting comes as South Korea and Italy agreed to forge a strategic partnership during President Moon Jae-in's visit to Italy in October 2018. Follow-up talks, however, were delayed by the pandemic.
During this week's meeting, South Korea and Italy are expected to share ideas on expanding ties in the digital and green industries to brace for the post-pandemic economic recovery.
Seoul and Rome plan to launch joint research and development projects on a wide range of areas, including artificial intelligence, green mobility and hydrogen technologies.
The two countries will also make joint efforts to achieve carbon neutrality to meet the global trend and especially expand cooperation in the hydrogen sector.
Seoul, meanwhile, will request Italy make efforts to ease the ongoing safeguard measures imposed by the European Union against South Korean steel products, which is expected to run through 2024.
Italy is the third-largest trade partner for South Korea among members of the European Union, following Germany and the Netherlands.
The combined trade volume between the two countries came to US$6.3 billion over the first half of 2021, up 42 percent from a year earlier.
South Korea mainly shipped cars, textiles and steel products to Italy, while South Korea mostly imported consumer products, such as bags and shoes from Italy.
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