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Korea-Africa Summit: A Pivotal Moment for Trade and Cooperation

Daniel Kim Views  

On March 3, President Yoon Suk Yeol held a series of meetings with leaders from ten African nations regarding strengthening trade, commerce, and supply chain cooperation between the countries. During the weekend, Yoon met with leaders from 13 countries, including these 10. He plans to solidify the foundation for cooperation on key minerals with Africa through the Korea-Africa Summit, which will take place June 4-5.

Yoon met with leaders from Lesotho, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Togo, Rwanda, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau, and Cape Verde at the Presidential Office in Yongsan from morning to afternoon.

In addition to these meetings, he also held discussions on June 2 with the leaders of Tanzania and Ethiopia, and on May 31 with Liberia, bringing the total number of African leaders he met to 13. With Tanzania, he declared the start of negotiations for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on key minerals. With Ethiopia, he emphasized cooperation for the entry of Korean companies into the local market, and with Liberia, he signed an MOU for a Trade Investment Promotion Framework (TIPF). These countries, which are key partners supporting Korea’s entry into Africa, are visiting Korea to attend the Korea-Africa Summit opening on June 4. Korea will take over as chair of the Key Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) in July this year.

Yoon said, “Korea is a powerhouse in advanced industry manufacturing, but it relies on imports for more than 95% of raw minerals. Moreover, the scale of Korea’s trade with Africa is only 1.9% of total trade, which is small compared to Africa’s significance. We will actively support exchanges between companies from both sides.” He added, “At this summit, we plan to discuss in depth how to provide customized cooperation that meets the diverse needs of Africa, based on Korea’s successful development experience and know-how. Through this, African countries will be able to reaffirm that it’s different working with Korea.”

In the evening, a welcome dinner was held for the representatives of the 48 participating countries. Along with President Yoon’s wife, Kim Keon Hee, government officials, and businessmen, including Hyundai Motor’s Chairman, Chung Eui Sun, were in attendance. The main event of the Korea-Africa Summit will be held on June 4. Yoon is scheduled to hold summit talks with kings and presidents from all 25 countries in attendance. On June 5, the 2024 Korea-Africa Business Summit, hosted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and organized by the Trade Association, will also be held.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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