S.Korea, Vietnam agree to boost cooperation on critical minerals

by IANS |

Seoul, Dec 7 (IANS) South Korea and Vietnam agreed on Thursday to enhance bilateral cooperation on key minerals by setting up a research centre for their supply chains and jointly developing related technologies, Seoul's Industry Ministry said.

The consensus was reached during a meeting between South Korea's Industry Minister Bang Moon-kyu and his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Hong Dien, in Seoul, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

During the talks, the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding on joint research for supply chains of critical minerals, which calls for the establishment of a joint research centre and the development of technologies for major materials and components, Yonhap news agency reported.

The MOU was meant to expedite the implementation of their earlier agreement on critical minerals, as the two nations agreed to work more closely on exploring and developing major minerals, strengthening their supply chains and promoting investment in the field following a summit between President Yoon Suk Yeol and Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc in December 2022.

Vietnam is the world's second nation in terms of rare earth element deposits and has the third-largest amount of tungsten. South Korea has advanced technologies for mining and refining such minerals, according to the Ministry.

The two Ministers also agreed to make joint efforts to achieve $150 billion in two-way trade by 2030, up from $87.7 billion in 2022.

"The bilateral relations have never been better since the two nations forged diplomatic relations in 1992," Bang said.

"We will further expand cooperation on such new sectors as supply chains and clean energy with Vietnam."

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