S. Korean industry minister visits Africa for World Expo bid, economic ties
South Korean Industry Minister Bang Moon-kyu has met with President of Cabo Verde Jose Maria Pereira Neves and asked for the African country's support for its bid to host the 2030 World Expo in the southern city of Busan, his office said Saturday.
Bang visited Cabo Verde on Friday (local time) as President Yoon Suk Yeol's special envoy and discussed ways to enhance bilateral cooperation on agriculture, trade, investment, energy infrastructure and the overall economy, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
He also delivered Yoon's letter to the president, in which Yoon sought Cabo Verde's backing for Seoul to win the bid.
He was the first South Korean minister-level figure to make a visit to the African country.
Ahead of the meeting, Bang met with the African nation's finance minister, Olavo Avelino Garia Correia, and held talks on economic cooperation.
The two sides also signed two memorandums of understanding, which call for cooperation on agricultural machinery and for enhancing personnel and information exchanges regarding their economic and industry fields, respectively.
Bang was accompanied by an economic delegation involving 30 officials from the agriculture promotion institution, Korea Electric Power Corp. and other relevant organizations, the ministry said.
The selection of the host country is less than two months away, and the South Korean government has gone all-out to win the bid.
South Korea and the African nation have not built a strong partnership "due to geographical constraints," and this visit will serve as a chance to initiate close ties, the ministry said.
Before his trip to Africa, Bang visited France on Thursday for a summit of the International Energy Agency (IEA) on supply chains of critical minerals and clean energy.
On its sidelines, Bang met with U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and agreed to boost bilateral cooperation on nuclear power generation and a wide range of energy issues "in a future-oriented manner," according to the ministry.
He held separate talks with Japan's economic minister, Nishmura Yasutoshi, to discuss ways to strengthen ties in critical minerals and advanced industries, among other fields.
During his meeting with Northern Australia's resources minister, Madeleine King, Bang asked for her government's support for South Korean companies conducting investment projects there with regard to key minerals.
Bang also met with his counterparts from France and Indonesia, as well as IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol, the ministry said. (Yonhap)