MADRID, June 16 (Joint Press Corps-Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in proposed closer partnerships between his country and Spain on low-carbon and digital economies, while attending a joint business forum here Wednesday along with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.
Moon stressed that the two sides have great potential to work together for joint business projects in third markets as well.
Two-way trade volume totaled only US$100 million in 1980 but it jumped to $5.5 billion in 2018, just seven years after the South Korea-EU free trade agreement took effect, he noted.
South Korean and Spanish firms have won a total of $16.2 billion worth of contracts to do businesses together in 25 other nations, he added.
"However, it is still only the beginning, given the potential the two countries have," he stressed during the South Korea-Spain Green & Digital Business Forum held in Madrid.
In particular, Spain is a global leader in the eco-friendly energy field, as 40 percent of its total energy use is based on renewable resources, Moon said.
South Korea has advanced technologies in the semiconductor and ICT sectors, a core element in the digital economy.
"If the two sides share experience and know-how with strength, respectively, they are going to make a leap higher," Moon said.
He proposed that South Korea and Spain deepen and expand partnerships in three fields: low-carbon economy, digital economy and joint ventures in third markets.
He cited the two nations' campaign to increase the supply of electric vehicles and hydrogen energy use.
A Spanish firm Ocean Winds plans to invest $100 million in an offshore wind farm in Incheon, west of Seoul, and another local company EDPR has decided to invest $100 million for the construction of a solar power plant in Goheung, South Jeolla Province, Moon pointed out.
He expressed hope for closer partnerships between the companies of South Korea, a bridgehead in the Asian market, and Spain, that in the European, African and Latin American ones, to launch more joint businesses on 5G networks, electric cars and renewable energy in other nations.
"South Korea will proactively support cooperation between the two nations' companies," he added.