South Korea urges better cooperation on supply chain with China

By Thomson Reuters May 16, 2024 | 5:32 AM

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s finance minister on Thursday said Seoul and Beijing should seek better economic cooperation on the supply chain for raw materials.

“We should lead global industries by cooperating on supply chain and technologies across new sectors such as bio and clean energy, as well as across raw materials such as urea, gallium, graphite,” South Korea’s Choi Sang-mok said in opening remarks on a bilateral video conference with Chairman Zheng Shanjie of The National Development and Reform Commission in China.

The conference was taking place as both South Korea and China expressed a wish to improve ties in their first foreign ministerial talks in seven months earlier this week, and as a summit of the leaders of China, South Korea and Japan is planned for the end of May in Seoul.

In 2021, South Korea suffered a major supply crunch of urea, – a type of nitrogen used as fertiliser in agriculture as well as to curb diesel and industrial emissions – due to export restrictions by China.

South Korea has been making efforts to stabilize the supply of key material imports.

(Reporting by Cynthia Kim; Editing by Bernadette Baum)