By Park Gil-ja and Lee Hana
President Moon Jae-in and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on March 15 agreed to expand bilateral economic cooperation in areas such as finance, infrastructure and agriculture.
In their summit held at the prime minister's office in Phnom Penh, the president said, "As one of our major partners in development cooperation, Cambodia is also an important ally in implementing Korea's New Southern Policy. I hope that our countries will continue working together to bring a prosperous future to both of our nations."
Hun Sen added, "Thanks to your visit, our relations have already been strengthened, and I look forward to elevating our relations to the level of a strategic partnership."
The two leaders also said the 200 Korean companies operating in Cambodia are playing an instrumental role in stimulating the growth of both economies, and pledged to sign an agreement banning double taxation so that corporations from both sides can conduct business more freely.
Also discussing an agricultural distribution center opened in February this year with funding from both countries, both sides looked to continue expanding agricultural cooperation.
In the financial sector, Korea agreed to set up a national payment system with official development assistance (ODA) funding. The two countries will also expand financial cooperation in the private sector.
In addition to discussing the upcoming Korea-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) special conference to mark 30 years of diplomatic relations between Korea and ASEAN member nations, both leaders agreed to work closely for the success of the inaugural Korea-Mekong summit to be held on the sidelines of the conference.
Finally, President Moon hailed the signing of a bilateral treaty on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, saying he hopes this results in more visitor traffic between Korea and Cambodia through safer travel.