Minister for Trade Ahn Duk-geun met with Liesje Schreinemacher, the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, and attended the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signing ceremony where the two countries signed seven MOUs on eco-friendly mobility and renewable energy cooperation.
The ceremony was held on occasion of Dutch Minister Schreinemacher’s visit to Korea (March 13-15) as trade delegation head and as follow-up to the Korea-Netherlands summit talks held last November in Seoul.
Trade Minister Ahn remarked that the MOUs are tangible outcomes of the bilateral agreement made during summit meeting on economic cooperation in semiconductors, smart farming, transportation and clean energy.
The two trade chiefs held bilateral talks prior to the MOU signing ceremony, discussing measures to advance the two nations’ economic cooperation in trade, investment, semiconductors, batteries, nuclear power plants, hydrogen, offshore wind power and other clean energy areas.
To note, the two countries’ bilateral trade is consistently increasing in volume, as the Netherlands is Korea’s second largest trading partner in EU after Germany. As for investment in Korea, the Netherlands ranks first among EU nations.
Both sides agreed that economic security partnership is important, and decided to strengthen their mutually complementary cooperation, with the Netherlands being a global semiconductor equipment powerhouse and Korea leading as semiconductor manufacturer.
Seeing that Korean battery companies are substantial contributors to the EU economy, Trade Minister Ahn requested for cooperation from the Dutch government by taking their position into more active consideration in legislating battery laws and subsections.
He mentioned Korea’s advanced nuclear power project capacity and Korea’s clean energy policies regarding hydrogen and offshore wind power, maintaining that the two countries should deepen cooperation in these areas.
The trade minister also asked for the Dutch government’s support and interest towards Korea’s bid to host World Expo 2030 in Busan.
Following the bilateral talks, the two ministers held a roundtable with both countries’ semiconductor business leaders to discuss cooperation measures and key issues.
With respect to the Netherlands’ new export control policy direction, Minister Ahn emphasized the important role Korean chip companies play in the global semiconductor supply chain and requested that the two governments maintain close communication to prevent production setbacks.
Lastly, he requested that world-leading chip equipment suppliers ASML and ASM continue expanding investment in Korea and collaborating with Korean companies.