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Seoul turning to Russia amid protectionist policy of US, China — South Korean official

October 25, 9:11 UTC+3 SEOUL

Lately, trade betwee Russia and South Korea has been on the rise, Lee Jae-chool noted

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SEOUL, October 25. /TASS/. The protectionist policy of South Korea’s major trade partners pushes it for closer economic cooperation with Russia, Senior Executive Managing Director of the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) Lee Jae-chool told a business event in Seoul on Wednesday.

"Korean-Russian economic cooperation is now in the center of attention of our government," Lee Jae-chool said during the presentation of investment potential of Russian regions in South Korea.

"Global economy is restoring, but our major trade partners, namely the United States and China, carry out the policy of protectionism and isolationism," the KITA official said. This deepens the uncertainty of South Korea’s economy, "which is highly dependent on foreign factors."

Russia has been actively working on developing its infrastructure and increasing the competitiveness of its industry, Lee Jae-chool said, calling on South Korean businessmen to pay attention to Russia. "There is the need to search for the new ways of developing cooperation to achieve universal prosperity," he stressed.

Lately, trade between the two countries has been on the rise, Lee Jae-chool said, noting that in the first 9 months of 2017 South Korea’s exports to Russia grew 56% while imports rose 44%, year-on-year. The positive forecast by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank that Russia’s economy is expected to recover this year is another encouraging signal for bilateral cooperation, he said.

The business event in Seoul is attended by the governors of Russia’s Novgorod region, Kaluga region, Sakhalin region, Khanty-Mansi autonomous region - Yugra, the head of North Ossetia, and also representatives of the Kaliningrad, Amur, Sakhalin and Khabarovsk regions.

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