1. A joint public-private consultation to seek cooperation projects linking the Republic of Korea’s New Southern and Northern Policies with the People's Republic of China’s One Belt, One Road initiative took place in Beijing on November 15, with officials from the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, as well as experts in the One Belt, One Road initiative from the two countries, in attendance.
2. The joint public-private consultation was held to discuss concrete ways to work together to link the ROK’s New Northern and Southern Policies with China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, as the leaders of the two countries agreed to do so in December 2017.
3. In his opening remarks, Deputy Director-General for Bilateral Economic Affairs Kim Young-jae of the ROK side explained the ROK government’s New Southern and Northern Policies, and stressed that there is great potential for cooperation, as the ROK’s Policies and China’s One Belt, One Road initiative have many things in common and are complementary in terms of visions and goals. He also offered to continue to closely work together towards co-prosperity, cooperation and development of the two policies, the ROK and China’s key foreign policies.
o In its opening remarks, the Chinese side said that as a more open platform, the One Belt, One Road initiative, which marks its fifth anniversary this year, would offer more benefits and opportunities to recipient countries, and that the initiative would provide more opportunities to not only countries along the route, but also companies and people of the ROK and China through cooperation with the ROK’s New Southern and Northern Policies. The Chinese side also expressed hope that in the process, the two countries would effectively respond to the global trend towards trade protectionism.
4. In their keynote speeches, President of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation (CAITEC) at the Chinese Ministry of Commerce Gu Xuemimg, and Director General of the Chinese Economy Department of the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP) Yang Pyeong-seob made presentations on “China’s One Belt, One Road initiative and the ROK and China’s cooperation with third countries” and the “New Northern and Southern Policies, and ROK-China cooperation,” respectively. At sessions that followed the speeches, experts from the two countries made presentations and engaged in discussions under the themes “strategic ways and choices to promote ROK-China cooperation,” “project for the construction of international expressway in the Shandong province,” and “forum on joint entry into third countries.”
5. In the discussions, some participants said that in order to seek concrete cooperation projects between the two countries’ companies, projects under China’s One Belt, One Road initiative need to be pursued in a more transparent manner, and much information needs to be provided to the ROK side. Others said that for the ROK and China to work together in third countries, it is very important to put the ROK-China relations on a normal track, and work towards closer bilateral relations.
6. The Foreign Ministry will closely watch international developments regarding China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, explore ways to maximize the ROK’s national interests through cooperation with China in third countries, and actively support Korean companies’ activities. To do so, the Ministry will continue to make use of a range of economic cooperation channels between the ROK and China, including the joint public-private consultation.
* unofficial translation