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Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation holds its first meeting Thursday Updated: 2017-12-08 07:20:19 KST

The first meeting on the Presidential Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation kicked off Thursday.
It comes three months after the committee was established in August with the goal of boosting economic ties between South Korea and the Eurasia region.

"I'm more than delighted to launch the first meeting. The New Northern Policy, as announced by President Moon at the Eastern Economic Forum last September, is expected to help create a new growth engine in South Korea and is critical in lowering tensions and fostering co-prosperity in North East Asia."

On top of ministers from the Finance, Foreign Affairs, Unification, and Trade ministries, two dozen experts from academia and research institutes will help outline mid-to-long term goals and detailed plans of the New Northern Policy.
The key for the first meeting was Russia.
Experts discussed ways to boost exchanges between South Korea and Russia through nine key areas, or the so-called nine bridges, including power, natural gas, railroads, shipbuilding, agriculture among other areas.
The goal is to develop closer ties with Eurasian countries through economic exchanges by combining Eurasia's huge natural resources with Korea's know-how in infrastructure building.
Mega projects like the Trans-Siberian Railway won't be easy given the tensions due to North Korea and sanctions on Russia, but the committee says step-by-step cooperation, starting with agriculture and natural gas and easing customs regulations will help lay the basis for long-term projects.

"The government should take a long-term perspective, see what the obstacles for Korean companies in the field are, be it financing or logistics, and help solve those. Another area of cooperation is tech. Russia has original technology and startups, Korea has hardware technology and talent, there can be synergy here too."

The committee is set to hold meetings every quarter.
The second meeting will be held next spring where some thirty experts will come up with a more detailed policy on Mongolia, China and other Eurasian countries.
Kim Hyesung, Arirang News.
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