South Korea plans to expand its economic cooperation with South Asian countries in a bid to capitalize on one of the fast-emerging markets in the world, the finance ministry said Friday.
The move comes amid growing demand for export market diversification as the world's major economies such as the United States and European Union remain fragile, posing a threat to South Korea's trade-reliant economy.
The cooperation will be pursued with India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and other South Asian countries. The tie-up will encompass the construction, infrastructure, energy, tech and green sectors, according to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.
"We need to prepare active plans to preempt the South Asian market that is fast emerging as one of the world's major economic blocs and better respond to moves by other countries such as China and Japan (in the region)," the ministry said.
The government seeks to expand development aid and provide development-related expertise to the region so that it could create a friendly environment for future economic cooperation, the ministry said. More export financing will be given to businesses seeking to advance into South Asian countries, it added.
In a bid to better understand South Asian economies, the government will also step up its research efforts. It will increase the number of personnel exclusively working on South Asian markets, the ministry said.
South Asia, with the world's largest population of 1.6 billion, is showing sustainable economic growth and political stability, possibly providing a huge consumer market for many other countries, the ministry said