S. Korea to promote exports to Europe nations on NATO summit sidelines
Updated: 2022-06-29 14:35:16 KST
The keyword at the South Korean president's first NATO summit "Sales diplomacy."
Through bilateral meetings with world leaders in Spain on the NATO sidelines this week, President Yoon has been promoting the country's exports, its major economic driver.
The Presidential Office says that because economic growth in China, South Korea's biggest trade partner, is slowing down, there's a need to diversify and find alternative markets.
"Europe is the next biggest market in the world after the United States. Europe's GDP is around 17 trillion U.S. dollars, similar to China's. Europe is our third-largest trading partner."
President Yoon is looking for deals to export nuclear power plants as part of his pledge to make the country a "nuclear reactor superpower."
"First, we will go all-out to win deals to build nuclear power plants in the countries that are about to choose contractors, including Poland and the Czech Republic."
As part of these effort, South Korea's Industry Minister Lee Chang-yang met on Tuesday with his Czech counterpart, Jozef Sikela, to whom he emphasized Seoul's advanced nuclear technology proven through the Barakah project in the United Arab Emirates.
In the meeting, 10 contracts were signed on nuclear energy and hydrogen between companies from the two countries, including the auto giant Hyundai Motor.
An expert says nuclear power projects in Poland and the Czech Republic will bring in billions of dollars to the South Korean economy.
"Should South Korea export nuclear power plants to Europe, it could be deemed as the world's leading country in the field both in name and reality."
Another main export the President will focus on is arms sales, for which demand is rising amid the war in Ukraine.
Poland has previously asked South Korea to accelerate its military support to Ukraine.
Another expert says weapon exports to NATO member countries will help South Korea gain a global competitive edge in the industry.
"If those planned exports lead to positive results, some expect the South Korean defense market to have the second-largest share in the global market after the U.S."
With the UK and the Netherlands, South Korea is looking to strengthen supply chains in advanced industries, including semiconductors and batteries.
Eum Ji-young, Arirang News.