South Korea, Malaysia discuss ways to boost economic ties

Seoul, May 18 (BNA): South Korea and Malaysia discussed ways to deepen bilateral economic relations and enhance cooperation in supply chains for raw materials and new industry sectors, according to the Ministry of Industry in Seoul.

The discussions were made during a meeting between First Vice Minister of Industry Jang Yong-jin and his Malaysian counterpart Liu Chin-tung in Seoul, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Yonhap news agency reported.

During the talks, Jang called for agreements on key industrial materials and clean hydrogen, as well as the resumption of negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA).

South Korea has a separate free trade agreement with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), but has sought bilateral deals with each member to boost relations.

The two countries started talks on a bilateral free trade agreement in June 2019 and held three rounds of negotiations that year, but talks have since stalled.

Jang also asked for the Malaysian government’s support for South Korean battery makers and other companies in the new industry sector operating in the Southeast Asian country.

“Malaysia is rich in natural resources and plays a crucial role in global supply chains for electricity, energy, minerals and other areas of industry. Strong economic ties with Malaysia are expected to help South Korea better ensure stable supply chains and create more business opportunities,” the ministry said in a statement.

Malaysia is South Korea’s third largest trading partner among ASEAN members, with bilateral trade reaching a record $26.7 billion in 2022, according to government data.

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