(ATTN: RECASTS slug, headline, lead; UPDATES with Portugal visit)
MADRID/LISBON/SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) -- National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo met with the Spanish Senate leader and the Portuguese president to discuss ways to widen economic cooperation with Korea during his two-nation trip to the respective countries, his office said Wednesday.
During their 30-minute meeting in Madrid on Tuesday (local time), Kim and Ander Gil Garcia, president of the Senate of Spain, discussed how they could enhance cooperation in areas like renewable energy, electric vehicles, construction and infrastructure.
Kim asked for Spain's support for South Korea's bid to host the 2030 World Expo in the southeastern port city of Busan, while Gil anticipated that an envisioned plan to open direct flights connecting Seoul and Madrid and launch a Spanish cultural center in South Korea will boost exchanges between the two countries.
Kim's visit to Spain, which included a meeting with the leader of Spain's Congress of Deputies, came as part of efforts to strengthen parliamentary cooperation between the two countries after Seoul and Madrid agreed to elevate their bilateral relationship to a "strategic partnership" last year.
In Lisbon, Kim met with Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and asked for support for South Korea's Expo bid.
De Sousa responded positively and requested support for more economic cooperation between South Korea and Portugal in areas like renewable energy, electric vehicle batteries and air transportation.
Kim was also set to meet with Prime Minister Antonio Costa and Assembly Speaker Augusto Santos Silva.