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President Moon, Cambodian PM to add layer of cooperation to tighten bilateral relations Updated: 2019-03-15 10:03:53 KST

The tail-end of the week-long, three-nation tour has brought President Moon Jae-in to Cambodia, making him the first South Korean leader to make a state visit to the country in a decade.
President Moon is looking to upgrade South Korea's ties with Cambodia on multiple fronts, and drive up two-way trade that logged 870-million U.S. dollars as of the end of 2017.

President Moon and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, during their summit Friday, will sign deals on joint research cooperation for academic institutions as well as financial investment.
The leaders are also expected to shore up their ties in the agriculture, infrastructure and construction sectors.
The South Korean leader had previously revealed his ambition to make the New Southern Policy part of his administration's legacy-- promising to visit all ASEAN member nations at least once during his five-year term, part of the reason why he chose to travel to three ASEAN nations in one swing this week.
Still, there are hurdles to overcome.
Despite its small trade volume with South Korea and relatively expensive labor costs, the Kingdom is considered an important target market for Seoul given its rapidly-growing capital market, the growth potential of the Mekong River and South Korea's relative lack of diplomatic diversity.
In addition, Cambodia's role has increased after it was the country coordinator for Korea-ASEAN dialogue relations until last year, in other words, its ability to bridge ASEAN and South Korea is unmatched.

"As one of Southeast Asia's four economic outperformers, Cambodia -- to President Moon -- is probably one of the most attractive markets for his pivot to the region.
One way to get those business deals started will be the first ever Korea-Mekong summit scheduled for later this year.
Shin Se-min, Arirang News, Phnom Penh."
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