SEOUL, May 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Malaysia discussed ways Thursday to deepen bilateral economic relations and to boost cooperation on supply chains of raw materials and new industry sectors, Seoul's industry ministry said.
The discussions were made during a meeting between First Vice Industry Minister Jang Young-jin and his Malaysian counterpart, Liew Chin Tong, in Seoul, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
During the talks, Jang called for clinching agreements on key industry materials and clean hydrogen, as well as resuming negotiations for the bilateral free trade agreement (FTA).
South Korea has a separate FTA with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), but it has sought to strike bilateral deals with each member to further bolster ties.
The two nations began talks on the bilateral FTA in June 2019 and held three rounds of negotiations that year, but the talks have since been stalled.
Jang also asked for the Malaysian government's support for South Korean battery makers and other companies in the new industry sector operating in the Southeast Asian country.
"Malaysia is rich in natural resources and plays a crucial role in the global supply chains of electricity, energy, mineral and other industry fields. Stronger economic ties with Malaysia are expected to help South Korea better ensure stable supply chains and create more business chances," the ministry said in a release.
Malaysia is the third-largest trade partner of South Korea among the ASEAN members, with bilateral trade reaching a record high of US$26.7 billion in 2022, according to government data.
(LEAD) Family of 5 found dead in 3 separate locations
Presidential office to discuss with China on Xi's possible visit to S. Korea
Russian FM to visit Pyongyang next month as follow-up to Kim-Putin summit
(Asiad) S. Korea beat Bahrain in men's football to cap perfect run through group phase
S. Korea, U.S. stage joint naval drills in East Sea amid N.K. threats