South Korean President
Lee Myung-bak arrived in Uzbekistan on Tuesday for summit talks with President Islam Karimov and a series of economic cooperation deals, including a US$4 billion contract to develop a gas field and build a related plant, Yonhap reported.
The contract to develop the Surgil gas field near the Aral Sea and build a gas and chemicals plant will be the largest-ever cooperation project between the two countries since they established diplomatic relations in 1992.
The two sides are also expected to sign another deal to export a Korean information technology system to modernize Uzbekistan's stock market. A series of cooperation accords are also planned in health care, medicine, IT (information technology), textiles and other areas, officials said.
The two-day visit is also expected to strengthen the personal bond between Lee and Karimov, officials said. The two leaders have met with each other almost every year since 2008, discussing cooperation between the two countries and building a personal friendship, they said.
At the summit, Lee and Karimov plan to discuss how to work together for the development of the bilateral strategic partnership and how to boost substantive cooperation in various fields, including energy and resources, infrastructure, finance, and information and technology.
They are also expected to exchange views on regional and international developments.
The trip to Tashkent also includes a meeting of the Korean-Uzbek Economic Cooperation Council.