The Republic of Korea (ROK) will open a consulate general in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, a local official said on Monday.
The move fulfills a commitment between Chinese President Hu Jintao and ROK President Lee Myung-bak made during the latter's visit to China in May. That's when the two countries issued a joint statement outlining their new "strategic cooperative partnership".
The office is expected to be in operation by the end of this year or the beginning of next year, said Wan Yong, mayor assistant of Wuhan.
ROK has Chinese consulates in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Qingdao, Shenyang, Chengdu and Xi'an. It will become the third country to open a consular office in Wuhan, after France and the United States.
"Opening the consulate will definitely boost the economic cooperation between ROK and the central China regions," said Wan.
Wuhan is known as the trade center along the middle section of the Yangtze River. It is also one of China's key transport hubs.
A total of 62 ROK companies had invested in Wuhan by the end of 2007. Wan said that totals an investment volume of more than 200 million U.S. dollars.
Wuhan has experienced rising trade volume with ROK in the photoelectron, machinery, chemical, mineral, agriculture and clothing industries, Wan said.
Statistics with the city's customs agency showed, trade volume between Wuhan and ROK stood at around 600 million U.S. dollars in 2007.
(Xinhua News Agency December 8, 2008)