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Korean president to boost Africa ties, ensure stable key mineral supply.

TraderKnows
TraderKnows
06-04

This Tuesday, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol announced plans to enhance cooperation with African nations, as South Korea's industrial system heavily relies on mineral imports.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said on Tuesday that South Korea will strengthen cooperation with African countries to ensure the stable supply of critical minerals and accelerate the promotion of economic partnerships and trade negotiations.

At the first summit held with leaders of 48 African countries, Yoon stated that South Korea will increase its development aid to Africa to $10 billion over the next six years to exploit the continent's rich mineral resources and tap into its potential as a vast export market.

"We will seek sustainable cooperation methods to address issues directly related to future growth, such as the stable supply of critical minerals and digital transformation," Yoon said in his opening remarks.

He also pledged $14 billion in export financing to boost trade and investment by South Korean companies in African countries.

South Korea is one of the world's largest energy buyers and a leading semiconductor producer. It is also home to the world's fifth-largest automaker, Hyundai Motor Group, which is committed to electrification.

Yoon's office noted that cooperation with Africa, which holds 30% of the world's critical mineral reserves, including chromium, cobalt, and manganese, is crucial.

At least 30 heads of state attended the summit, with delegations from 48 countries also present. Yoon and African Union Chairperson, Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, will issue a joint statement.

Yoon proposed "shared growth" as the cornerstone of cooperation with Africa and emphasized the need to establish frameworks that promote trade and exchanges, committing to expedite negotiations of economic partnership agreements and trade investment promotion frameworks.

By providing industrial infrastructure and digital transformation aid, South Korea aims to develop this rapidly growing market of 1.4 billion people, the majority of whom are under 25 years old.

Former South Korean Ambassador to South Africa and Uganda, Park Jong-dae, believes that Western and Chinese development models have failed to help African countries, while South Korea offers a valuable alternative development path.

"The core of South Korea's development cooperation model is human development and management, rather than simply providing aid," he said.

"South Korea has development experience and expertise, and many African countries have enormous untapped potential and abundant natural resources, along with a vibrant young population," he added.

On Wednesday, South Korean business leaders will host a business summit focused on investment, industrial development, and food security.

Yoon will also continue to hold individual meetings with visiting leaders.

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