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Korea and Kazakhstan discuss critical minerals & economic cooperation 2023-04-18

Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Lee Chang-yang met with Roman Sklyar, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, on April 14 at the Lotte Hotel Seoul and discussed critical minerals, economic cooperation and plant bid project, and requested support for World Expo 2030 Busan.

Both sides agreed that it was significant for bilateral trade to have reached USD 6.5 billion despite internal and external difficulties in 2022, which was also the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Korea and Kazakhstan, thanks to automobile exports and crude oil.

Minister Lee emphasized the two countries’ past successful joint project experiences, including the Big Almaty Ring Road (BAKAD) Project, Tengiz oil field production capacity expansion project and the combined cycle power plant project in Shymkent, and asked for Kazakhstan’s interest in Korea’s winning of new future bid projects in energy and material plant.

The two delegations shared the view that Korea and Kazakhstan are the optimal partners for building a stable critical minerals supply chain considering the former’s technical prowess and manpower in mineral exploitation and the latter’s abundance in rare minerals, and agreed to bolster their government communication channel for stronger cooperation.

Minister Lee also requested the Kazakh government’s support for Korea’s bid to host World Expo 2030 Busan.

Deputy Prime Minister Sklyar expressed interest and support on behalf of the Kazakh government towards expanding economic exchange with Korea, mentioning that a special working group is currently being run to support Korean firms’ business operations, to which Minister Lee expressed gratitude and asked for active support in strengthening the two countries’ economic cooperation.