SEOUL, Oct. 23 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday vowed stepped-up efforts to improve his country's ties with North Korea, saying the move will create new business opportunities for both Koreas, as well as those in other countries.
"When South Korea and North Korea freely exchange people and create a joint economic community based on complete denuclearization and established peace, our nation and economy will take another leap forward," the president said in a meeting of overseas Korean business leaders.
"New investment and jobs will be created, and the economy will be filled with new vitality," he added.
The annual meeting was established in 2002 with some 1,000 Korean businesspeople from 26 countries. This year's event was attended by nearly 5,000 from about 50 countries around the globe.
"As stated in the Panmunjom Declaration and Pyongyang Declaration, I will remove the shadow of war from the Korean Peninsula and open a new era of peace and prosperity," the president told the meeting, referring to the two inter-Korean agreements signed in his first summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, held in the border village of Panmunjom in April, and the third summit in Pyongyang last month.
His remarks came hours after the government ratified the Pyongyang Declaration in a Cabinet meeting chaired by the president.
The president promised additional support for South Korean businesses in other countries.
"The government is expanding the territory for investment in new industrial sectors by introducing a regulation sandbox while legislating laws on special zones, industrial convergence promotion and information-communication convergence. In addition, it is greatly expanding the country's economic exchanges and cooperation to ASEAN and India in the south and Russia and Europe in the north by pushing for its New Northern Policy and New Southern Policy," he said.
The New Southern and Northern Policy refers to Moon's key diplomatic initiative that seeks to boost the country's economic and diplomatic relations with its neighbors.
Under the New Southern Policy, the president has vowed to more than double the country's two-way trade with the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to over US$200 billion in 2020, making them the country's second-largest trading partner after China.
Moon also stressed the need for joint efforts by all Korean businesses to overcome the growing protectionism.
"We are now living in an era of limitless global competition. Trade protectionism and competition between countries and regions are growing, while the world witnesses unprecedented technological innovation and change, named the fourth industrial revolution," he said.
"In the face of such an enormous and epochal challenge, we must further strengthen the alliance and solidarity of our network of Korean businesses. Together, there is no mountain we cannot conquer."
Source: Yonhap News Agency