The South Korean government announced on Jan. 20 that finance, culture and innovation will be added to the 9-Bridge scheme for mutual cooperation between South Korea and Russia and it will establish mid- to long-term cooperation models and bilateral and multilateral FTA belts with northern countries such as Mongolia.
In addition, South Korean and Chinese economic ministers will meet with each other in Seoul in March this year after a hiatus of about two years. The government explained that its policy focus for this year will be laid on northern countries whereas the New Southern Policy was its central policy last year.
Commemorating the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Russia and Mongolia, the government is planning to expand its exchange with northern countries such as Russia. For example, the deputy prime ministers for economic affairs of South Korea and Russia will establish a preparatory committee for 270 or so events in the fields including economy, culture and arts. Finance, culture and innovation will be included in the 9-Bridge scheme covering the nine fields of railway, electricity, shipbuilding, gas, port, the North Pole Route, agriculture and forestry, fisheries, and industrial complex.
At the same time, South Korea will create new visions and cooperation models with Central Asia by setting up a high-ranking multilateral cooperation channel. Mutual cooperation will be expanded in the infrastructure, culture, industry and public health sectors as well.
When it comes to its relations with China, the South Korean government is planning to pursue an early conclusion of follow-up service and investment negotiations in the South Korea-China FTA and expand their cooperation in the culture, tourism, content and new industry sectors. In their meeting scheduled for March, both countries’ economic ministers will discuss the formation of a joint platform for third-country market penetration.