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Korea, Netherlands pledge to strengthen economic ties

(Photo: Yonhap News)

President Lee Myung-bak and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende held a bilateral summit at Lee's office on Wednesday (Apr. 28).

They held a broad discussion about growing bilateral economic and industrial ties and ways to cooperate in combating the global financial crisis, climate change and implementing green growth policies.

Prime Minister Balkenende, who is visiting Seoul until Apr. 29, and the Korean President both expressed their satisfaction about the continuously developing ties between Korea and the Netherlands since their diplomatic relationship began in 1961 and pledged to further strengthen such ties.

Calling attention to the fact that the Netherlands is the third largest investor nation in Korea, the two leaders shared the recognition that the Korea-EU FTA would, when ratified, substantially contribute to enhanced relations not only between Korea and the European regional bloc but also between the two countries. Meanwhile, the Dutch Prime Minister expressed his country's intention to take part in the 2012 Yeosu Exposition to be held in Korea.

The two leaders expressed a desire to actively join forces to contribute to the international efforts aimed at fighting climate change and the financial crisis. They in particular welcomed the conclusion of an MOU between the two governments regarding collaboration on Korea's projects to renovate the four rivers and develop the Saemangeum Seawall area.

During the summit, President Lee Myung-bak expressed his gratitude for Dutch participation in the 1950-53 Korean War as a member of the United Nations force and presented the Prime Minister with a plaque of appreciation at the subsequent luncheon.

The Prime Minister’s visit at this time is thought to have confirmed the friendship between Korea and the Netherlands and to have laid the groundwork for their continuous cooperation in promising fields, Cheong Wa Dae explained.

By James Ro Staff Writer


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