Posted : 2013-05-08 19:04
Updated : 2013-05-08 19:04

Korea, US to cooperate in clean energy

By Na Jeong-ju

President Park Geun-hye, center, poses with Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough, left, and Elizabeth Broun, the Margaret and Terry Stent director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, in front of the late artist Paik Nam-june's Electronic Superhighway" during a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the alliance between South Korea and the United States in Washington, Tuesday. / Yonhap
The summit between President Park Geun-hye and U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to pave the way for joint efforts to develop future growth engines for the economies of both countries.

Cheong Wa Dae said after the meeting in Washington on Tuesday that the leaders discussed ways to lay the groundwork for greater cooperation on creating future growth engines. They agreed to ease the way for greater people-to-people and economic exchanges, such as increasing the quota of U.S. visas for Korean professionals.

This suggests that Korean and U.S. institutes and enterprises will have more opportunities to exchange ideas and programs for the development of promising industrial fields, such as clean energy and information technology.

The summit is also significant for the economic alliance between the two countries because this year also marks the first anniversary of the implementation of a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA).

"The FTA will create tens of thousands of jobs in the United States, and be helpful for South Korea as well in creating more jobs and developing the economy," Obama said in a joint news conference.

According to a joint statement issued after the summit, the FTA embodies the positive evolution of Korea-U.S. partnership and demonstrates how deeply the two allies are committed to a shared future of growth and prosperity.

"We are pleased to note the positive results of the KORUS FTA, including increased trade and investment between our two countries, and recognize its potential for expanding bilateral cooperation and business opportunities, including in the energy sector," the statement said. "Our two countries will fully implement the KORUS FTA to ensure that the agreement serves as an economic growth engine in both our countries."

After the two countries reached the agreement in December 2010, Obama described the FTA as "the best deal for American workers and companies."

"American manufacturers of cars and trucks will gain more access to the Korean market. The deal will increase annual exports of American goods by up to $11 billion and support at least 70,000 American jobs," he said at the time.

Park's spokesman Yoon Chang-joong said, based on the spirits of the Park-Obama summit, the energy ministers of both countries will soon sign a pact on "comprehensive" energy cooperation. Yoon also said the two governments will establish working-level talks to promote development and exchanges of information technologies.

"The ministerial accord will include how to develop shale gas, a type of natural gas, and other clean energy sources, and exchange related technologies and information," Yoon told reporters. "The U.S. will also express full cooperation for Korea's successful hosting of the 5th Clean Energy Ministerial Meeting in 2014, which will serve as the main venue for exchanges of clean energy policies between countries."

Cheong Wa Dae said the two allies will intensify cooperation in research on climate modeling and workshops on climate risk assessment, and start joint work on the development and adoption of smart grids and energy efficiency technologies.

"We agreed to continue the clean energy partnerships that help us to enhance our energy security and address climate change," Obama said.

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