1. Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang, Kyung-wha met with Mr. Sardor Umurzakov, Deputy Prime-Minister for Investments and Foreign Economic Affairs and Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan, at 14:00, July 6, and exchanged views on collaboration on COVID-19 response and ways to increase substantive cooperation.
o Deputy Prime-Minister Umurzakov is the first high-level official to visit the Republic of Korea since March, when the COVID-19 situation was escalating. Minister Kang started her face-to-face diplomacy with officials visiting the ROK, beginning with her meeting with the Deputy Prime-Minister.
2. Minister Kang expressed satisfaction over the continuing close cooperation between the two countries even amid the COVID-19 situation through high-level exchanges, including a telephone conversation between the Presidents and a video conference between the deputy prime ministers for economic affairs.
o Minister Kang said that Deputy Prime-Minister Umurzakov’s visit to the ROK has symbolic significance that shows the two countries are in a “special strategic partnership.” In addition, she expressed hope that the two countries would also further strengthen health and medical cooperation, including through the ROK government’s “comprehensive COVID-19 Emergency Response Program.”
o Deputy Prime-Minister Umurzakov said that the ROK government’s assistance, including the dispatch of medical experts, significantly helped his country’s efforts to tackle COVID-19, and expressed deep appreciation for the ROK’s comprehensive COVID-19 Emergency Response Program. He also hoped that the ROK would systematically share its COVID-19 response experience, which is offering a model for other countries.
3. The two Ministers assessed that substantive cooperation is expanding in various fields through robust high-level exchanges following President Moon Jae-in’s visit to Uzbekistan in April 2019.
o In particular, the two sides expressed satisfaction over the close cooperation in the areas of substantive cooperation, including joint research on Free Trade Agreement (FTA), support for Uzbekistan’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), and development cooperation.
4. The two Ministers shared the view that to enhance cooperation between the two countries, they need to actively operate consultative mechanisms between the governments of the two countries, including the foreign ministerial meeting, the meeting between the deputy prime ministers for economic affairs, and the joint commission on trade and economic cooperation, considering the COVID-19 situation.
5. Deputy Prime-Minister Umurzakov is making a visit to the ROK on July 6-8 to review issues regarding economic cooperation between the two countries. Following the meeting with Minister Kang, he will also meet with the Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance.