S. Korea, Egypt in negotiations for K9 export contract
Updated: 2022-01-21 13:42:54 KST
South Korea and Egypt are in negotiations to export Seoul's K-9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers to Cairo.
Following a summit with his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, on Thursday President Moon Jae-in said the two sides are working toward a final conclusion.
Eyes are on whether a deal could be reached before President Moon wraps up his three-day visit on Friday.
"We agreed that a deal on K-9 howitzers is an achievement of defense cooperation based on mutual trust between the two nations. K-9 self-propelled artillery would greatly contribute to enhancing the Egyptian military's power. We share the understanding that it could become a successful case of technology cooperation and local production.
The leaders also agreed to a joint feasibility study for a bilateral free trade deal to expand their scope of cooperation in future-oriented and sustainable areas based on their comprehensive cooperative partnership.
If signed, it would be South Korea's first FTA with an African nation.
"Egypt's potential for development is infinite thanks to its extensive FTA network, young population and abundant resources."
South Korea also pledged one billion U.S. dollars through the Economic Development Cooperation Fund which provides low-interest loans.
It'll be used to fund various projects, like expanding Egypt's transport infrastructure.
The two sides inked MOUs under which South Korea will join the modernization project of Egypt's Luxor-High Dam railway while another calls for cooperation in the eco-friendly mobility sector.
"South Korea will share its development experience and contribute to efforts to expand infrastructure related to transport and water resources in Egypt.
To mark his visit, President Moon also gave a written interview with one of Egypt's daily newspapers, Al-Ahram.
He said he was optimistic about working with Egypt to increase mutual benefits saying Seoul and Cairo are entry hubs into the Asian and African markets, respectively.
President Moon also called for support from Egypt for the Korean Peninsula peace process.
Looking at the current situation, President Moon said it won't be easy, as the road to peace hasn't been institutionalized yet.
However, he vowed sincere efforts right until the end of his term in May.
President Moon's visit to Egypt is the first by a South Korean leader in 16 years.
It's the final leg of his week-long tour that also took him to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
"President Moon says Egypt's future is bright,hoping Seoul can be by Cairo's side to open a new chapter for bilateral cooperation. He expressed hope the two countries can take their relations to another level when they mark 30 years of diplomatic ties in 2025. Kim Min-ji, Arirang News. Cairo."