Kim Hyun-chong, a deputy director at the National Security Office under Cheong Wa Dae,
on April 14 gives a news briefing on President Moon Jae-in's upcoming visit to three Central Asian countries from April 16-23. (Yonhap News)
By Min Yea-Ji and Lee Hana
President Moon Jae-in's schedule for his trips to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan from April 16-23 has been announced by Cheong Wa Dae.
"His visits are expected to further strengthen ties with the Central Asian countries, which are important partners in carrying out Korea's New Northern Policy. The visit will expand the horizon for the policy's goals," the presidential office said on April 14.
The first leg of the president's tour is Turkmenistan from April 16-18. He will discuss there a wide range of issues from easing Korean corporate entry into the Turkmen market to advancing cooperation in next-generation sectors. He is also expected to visit a petrochemical plant in Kiyanly on the west coast, a facility built by Hyundai Engineering and Construction in October last year.
President Moon will then move on to Uzbekistan from April 18-21 to discuss upgrading bilateral cooperation in medicine and technology. He will also give a speech at a business forum attended by some 500 government officials and business executives from both countries.
In Kazakhstan from April 21-23, President Moon will hear about the Central Asian nation's experience in denuclearization while discussing bilateral cooperation in transportation and infrastructure, IT, aeronautics, welfare, healthcare, agriculture and manufacturing. He will give a speech at a business forum for Korean and Kazakh entrepreneurs.
Economic affairs will dominate the president's talks during his Central Asian tour.
"The New Northern Policy, one of the key points of innovative growth, bases itself on the emerging markets fueled by Central Asia and its abundant resources. The influence of these markets will grow even more significant on a global scale," said presidential economic adviser Joo Hyung-chul.
"Traditional industries like petrochemicals, construction and factories as well as emerging ones like 5G networks, bio and health hold the promise of infinite possibilities. We look forward to advancing cooperation in these sectors as a result of this week's visits."