Industry minister urges Chinese companies to invest in Saemangeum

By Shin Ji-hye

Korea and China’s Jiangsu agree to boost ties in investment, trade

  • Published : May 27, 2019 - 16:26
  • Updated : May 27, 2019 - 16:26

South Korea’s minister of trade, industry and energy asked Chinese companies to expand their investment in the nation’s Saemangeum projects during a meeting hosted by China’s Jiangsu government on Monday with the aim of boosting ties in trade and investment.

On Monday afternoon, Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo and Jiangsu Party Secretary Lou Qinjian met in Seoul to discuss mutual cooperation in the areas of industry, trade and investment. 

During the meeting, accompanied by top officials of Korean companies, including Samsung Electronics, LG Chem, SK hynix and KB Kookmin Bank, Sung and Lou signed a memorandum of understanding to further strengthen economic ties.

Jiangsu, a coastal Chinese province north of Shanghai, is China’s second-biggest province in terms of gross domestic product, which exceeds $1.1 trillion, after Guangdong. Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuxi, and Yancheng are located in this area.

The province actively cooperates with Korea in economy and trade. Of China’s 31 provinces, Jiangsu is Korea’s largest trade and investment partner, with their trade volume standing at $78.7 billion last year. Around 2,700 Korean companies, including Samsung Electronics, Kia Motors, LG Chem and SK hynix, do business in the region.

Highlighting Korean companies’ significant contribution to the region through job creation and investment, Sung asked the Chinese government to urge companies to expand investment in Korea’s Saemangeum project.

Saemanguem is one of the biggest Korean national projects. It aims to develop newly reclaimed areas in Gunsan, a city in North Jeolla Province.

In 2015, Korea and China designated Saemangeum as the two nation’s industrial cooperation complex, in a follow-up measure to the two nation’s summit in 2014. However, progress has been slow due to political issues, such as Seoul’s deployment of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense.

After signing the agreement, Minister Sung attended a joint seminar for the cooperation of Korea and Jiangsu.

In his congratulatory address at the seminar, Sung said the two regions could closely cooperate in new industries, such as the hydrogen economy and bio.

He added that this could be a win-win situation, as Korea is pushing for the creation of future growth engines through manufacturing innovation, while Jiangsu is fostering new industries and the advancement of structuring of existing industries.

He also called for the expansion of cooperation between the two regions from the current manufacturing to service areas, as well as the joint development of industrial complexes and the building of infrastructure in Central Asia and South Asia in an effort to seek new markets. 

By Shin Ji-hye (