(LEAD) S. Korea signs EDCF agreement with Ukraine

South Korea has clinched an agreement with Ukraine to offer low-interest loans to the war-torn nation to help its reconstruction projects, the finance ministry said Friday.

Kim Hyung-tae, South Korea's ambassador to Ukraine, and Ukrainian First Vice Prime Minister Yuliia Svyrydenko signed the agreement in Kyiv earlier this week to provide loans via the Economic Development Co-operation Fund (EDCF), according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

The agreement will pave the way for the two countries to discuss detailed projects and terms of the support, it added.

The two countries inked a preliminary agreement with Ukraine in May.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol pledged last week to provide financial support for Ukraine to help the nation restore peace and rebuild following its war with Russia.

Yoon announced the pledge during a session of the Group of 20 summit in New Delhi, saying South Korea will provide the initial US$300 million in 2024 in the form of humanitarian aid, along with another batch of $2 billion support in the form of long-term, low-interest loans through the EDCF starting in 2025.

Seoul launched the EDCF program in 1987 to help developing countries with their basic infrastructure.

To help rebuild the war-ravaged country, meanwhile, a team of South Korean government and business officials has visited Kiev, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport on Friday.

Headed by Minister Won Hee-ryong, the delegation had a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the capital Wednesday to deliver their intention to participate in the country's post-war reconstruction projects.

It is the first time for the minister-led Korean business delegation to visit Ukraine for possible post-war rebuilding projects.

The 30-member delegation is composed of the minister, officials from Korea Land & Housing Corp., Korea Railroad, Korea Airports Corp., Samsung C&T Corp., Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., KT Corp., and CJ Logistics Corp.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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