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Kim to promote exports on trip to Latin America

Posted April. 03, 2001 18:10,   


President Kim Dae-Jung will visit Central and South America and Prime Minister Lee Han-Dong or Deputy Prime Minister Jin Nyum will visit the Middle East during the latter half of this year on ``economic diplomacy`` missions.

In a meeting chaired by Jin at Cheong Wa Dae, economy-related ministers discussed measures aimed at boosting exports amid the ongoing economic downturns in the U.S. and Japan.

Exports to the two economic powerhouses, which account for 34 percent of the nation`s export market, are expected to fall as U.S. and Japanese consumers cut back on spending. The ministers agreed on the need to focus on newly emerging markets like China and countries in the Middle East, Africa and Central and South America.

President Kim`s trip to Latin America and Lee or Jin`s visit to the Middle East will come in the latter half of the year. Commerce, Industry and Energy Minister Chang Che-Shik and Information and Communications Minister Yang Seung-Taik will visit China in April and June, respectively. Trade Minister Hwang Doo-Yun, meanwhile, will visit a few African states in April.

Other measures to boost exports include arranging 2,650 domestic firms to take part in 111 foreign trade fairs, dispatching 78 business delegations representing over 15,000 firms to explore possible markets abroad, inviting 31 groups of foreign buyers, and allowing branch offices of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency abroad to focus more on small- and medium-sized firms.