MADRID, June 16 (Joint Press Corps-Yonhap) -- South Korea and Spain agreed during their leaders' talks here Wednesday to elevate their bilateral relationship to a "strategic partnership."
President Moon Jae-in of South Korea and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez of Spain said that the two sides have developed close cooperation in various fields since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1950.
They agreed to upgrade the bilateral ties to a "strategic partnership" in order to lay the groundwork to deepen "friendship and the level of substantive cooperation by a notch," Cheong Wa Dae said.
The leaders also adopted a joint statement on the vision.
"Recognizing the value of the mutually beneficial relations, the two leaders agreed to upgrade their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership in order to advance joint efforts" in the fields of political and diplomatic cooperation; international and multilateral cooperation; international peace and security; economic cooperation; science, technology and innovation; and culture, education, sports, people-to-people exchanges and tourism cooperation, the statement read.
They agreed to continue to advocate for sufficient production and equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines, it added.
They also agreed to work together to return bilateral trade and investment to the pre-pandemic level.
Two-way trade volume between the two countries shrank to US$4.2 billion last year from $5.4 billion in 2019.
The leaders decided to step up efforts for South Korean and Spanish construction and infrastructure companies to launch more joint businesses in third markets, especially in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Latin America.
On the occasion of Moon's state visit, the two countries signed the agreements on customs mutual assistance and health cooperation. They also signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) on bolstering partnership in the digital innovation, start-ups and clean energy sectors.
Earlier in the day, Moon laid a wreath at the Monument to the Fallen for Spain and attended a South Korea-Spain Green & Digital Business Forum together with Sanchez.
Moon arrived in Spain on Tuesday for a three-day state visit.