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SEOUL, July 16 (Itar-Tass) — South Korea’s Finance Minister Bahk Jae Wan said on Monday that the Republic of Korea would step up efforts to expand economic, political and diplomatic ties with Russia. That will make it possible to improve the use of opportunities opened by Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Seoul hopes that Russia’s membership of the world trade body would reduce trade barriers in one of the world’s biggest markets and expand opportunities for the neighboring countries.
“Russia will become a new driving force of regional development after it joins the WTO,” the South Korean finance minister stressed at a government meeting.
“We intend to use the new opportunities opening by Russia’s economic growth to pursue a new ‘northern policy’ aimed at developing economic cooperation and strengthening political and diplomatic relations,” Bahk Jae Wan went on to say.
The minister said that South Korea intended to expand trade with Russia and investments in its economy. He added that China’s economic slowdown made that step urgent.
South Korea, which currently ranks 13th among Russia’s trading partners, wants to enter the top ten by 2020. Besides, Seoul wants to improve its ratings from the current 20th position to 15th in the sphere of direct investments in Russia.
South Korea wants to develop cooperation with Russia in such areas as energy, capital development, exploration of natural resources, development of infrastructure as well as science and technology.