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Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.

Hu Begins South Korea Visit

After concluding his trip to three European countries -- Britain, Germany and Spain -- President Hu Jintao arrived in the South Korean capital of Seoul on Wednesday for a state visit to promote bilateral relations.

Hu is expected to meet with South Korean president, Roh Moo-hyun, and other leaders on the further development of the comprehensive cooperative partnership.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries 13 years ago, bilateral cooperation in all fields has grown rapidly and their all-round partnership has increasingly enriched, Hu said in a written statement.

This has brought tangible benefits to the peoples of both countries and made an important contribution to regional peace and development, Hu said.

Annual bilateral trade volume has grown by 27 percent on average over the last 12 years, jumping from US$5 billion in 1992 to US$90 billion in 2004.

Trade is expected to exceed US$100 billion this year.

China is South Korea's largest trade partner and South Korea China's fourth largest.

Hu said he is convinced that his visit will enhance mutual trust, promote mutually beneficial cooperation in all fields and give a fresh impetus to the Sino-ROK comprehensive partnership.

On Thursday, Hu will fly to Busan for the Economic Leaders' Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) slated for November 18 and 19.

The theme of the Busan meeting is "Towards One Community: Meet the Challenge, Make the Change." The theme summarizes the strenuous will of APEC member economies to achieve the vision to build an "economic community" in the Asia-Pacific region.

(Xinhua News Agency November 16, 2005)

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