Thursday, 22 October 2009

South Korean President Calls For 'Rectangular' Cooperation With Cambodia

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

PHNOM PENH, Oct 22 (Bernama) -- South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Thursday promised full support for "rectangular cooperation" with Cambodia to provide new business opportunities in four major areas.

He proposed the countries work to launch new cooperation projects in four areas -- the agricultural, forestry, services and infrastructure sectors -- in what he called a "rectangular cooperation" programme, according to the Yonhap news agency.

"South Korea will share its development experience with all countries that strive to leap forward. We will especially share our experience with Cambodia and support its establishment of social infrastructure," Lee said in a luncheon with some 100 business representatives of the two countries that was also attended by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The South Korean head of state is here on a two-day state visit that will end Friday, as he will be attending a a regional forum hosted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Thailand.

Lee said the complementary economies of South Korea and Cambodia will provide vast and unexplored areas of cooperation as long as the countries are willing to work together, Yonhap said.

"The basis for that is already there as South Korea and ASEAN enacted a free trade agreement (FTA) in the service sector this year following the enactment of their FTA in 2007," Lee said.

The "rectangular cooperation" term comes from the Cambodian prime minister's famous reform policy, which seeks to develop Cambodia based on growth, employment, equity and efficiency.

"I believe there are more than enough conditions for an expansion of cooperation between our two nations with the enactment of the (Korea-ASEAN) FTA and the strong will of their governments for economic cooperation," the South Korean leader said.

The two nations will sign an agreement during Lee's visit on Seoul's provision of US$200 million in development loans to Cambodia from 2009-2012, according to the South Korean presidential office.

The countries are also set to launch a joint development program next year, through which Seoul will help set up "master plans" for the development of Cambodia while sharing its development experience with the country, the office said.

Lee is currently on a three-nation Southeast Asian tour that earlier took him to Vietnam.



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