By Xu Aiying and Lee Hana
President Moon Jae-in attended the Singapore-Korea Business Forum at the Shagri-la Hotel in Singapore on July 12 and stressed that both countries owe their economic development to free trade and to open-door economic policies.
"Our two countries, as open, free-trading nations, need to work together to prevent the spread of protectionism," he said.
The forum opened under the theme of "peace and cooperation, challenging a new future," and was attended by some 300 businesspeople from the two countries.
President Moon said in his opening address that, "Korea and Singapore have agreed to enter into a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) within the year."
"One of the most important factors in RCEP negotiations is timing. If we enter into an RCEP soon, we will be able to steer the course of the current protectionist climate in world trade," he said.
Furthermore, the president said that the two countries would develop their engines of economic growth in order to face the challenges brought by the fourth industrial revolution and strengthen economic cooperation to benefit ordinary civilians in both countries.
President Moon said that the two countries had become much better friends since the U.S.-North Korea summit, and thanked Singapore for its efforts.
"Through exchanges in business, security, and the arts & culture, our two countries have provided strength to one another. Should complete denuclearization and peace arrive on the Korean Peninsula, we would see the dawn of a new era of economic cooperation. We will be able to bring peace and prosperity to the Korean Peninsula, just as to the entire ASEAN region," he said.