South Korean enterprises are willing to establish strategic partnership with Chinese business people worldwide, South Korean Minister of Commerce, Industry and Energy Lee Hee-boem said in Seoul on Monday.
In an interview with Xinhua after the opening of the 8th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Conference (WCEC) earlier in the day, Lee expressed hoped that the WCEC will change the image of South Korea which has not any a decent "China Town" and show South Korea's know-how in information technology.
When asked South Korea's purpose of hosting the biannual meeting, Lee said: "South Korea wants to support the weak overseas Chinese economy here, promote communication between South Korea and world Chinese business people and enhance development of South Korean economy".
The South Korean minister said to establish strategic partnership with Chinese business people all over the world is the long-term goal of South Korea.
"We think this year's WCEC is a chance for South Korea to develop strategic partnership with world Chinese entrepreneurs," said Lee.
"To make friends of each other and set up bilateral relations' network are beneficial to the development of both sides," Lee said.
Lee said the South Korean government also has been committed to attracting investment from the world Chinese business people and planned to widen cooperation with them in trade and investment aspects.
The South Korean official also noted South Korean and world Chinese entrepreneurs, respectively, hold advantages in different fields.
"South Korea has obtained remarkable achievements in information, communication and bio-science technology. Chinese business people in the world have success experience in service and finance sectors," said Lee.
Lee expected cooperation between the two sides can produce complementary and beneficial effects.
As a senior official who is responsible for economy, Lee expressed his delight that cooperation between China and South Korea in economy and trade has developed quickly in the past 13 years since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1992.
"China became the biggest trade partner of South Korea, replacing the United States, in 2004," said Lee.
"China is also the largest destination of South Korea's investment, which amounted totally US$11.7 billion up to the first half of 2005, and Chinese companies also have investment in South Korea with US$1.7 billion," said the minister.
Lee attached great meaning to this year's WCEC, saying it not only will help South Korea make closer ties with Chinese business people in the world, but also will contribute to enhance cooperation between South Korea and China.
Some 3,300 world Chinese entrepreneurs from some 30 countries and regions as well as South Korean business people attended Monday's opening ceremony.
During the three-day meeting, Chinese business people and their South Korean counterparts will attend various seminars on investment, information technology, biotechnology and startup venture businesses to exchange the latest information and expertise, seek trading opportunities and channels for closer cooperation.
(Xinhua News Agency October 11, 2005)