South Korea and Uzbekistan agreed Friday to expedite efforts to clinch a bilateral free trade agreement and to boost cooperation on stable supply chains of key industrial items, Seoul's finance ministry said.
The agreement was made during a meeting in Seoul between Hong Nam-ki, South Korea's deputy prime minister for economy, and Sardor Umurzakov, Uzbekistan's deputy prime minister for investment and foreign economic relations.
During the talks, the two sides agreed to step up efforts for an early conclusion of FTA negotiations, which were launched in January, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Hong and Umurzakov also vowed to work closely to forge stable supply chains by jointly developing technologies needed to produce key materials for advanced industry sectors.
They also discussed measures to enhance cooperation in information and communications technology, digital health care and smart cities, according to the ministry.
Hong asked Umurzakov to support South Korean companies seeking to participate in Tashkent's major infrastructure projects.
Some 100 South Korean companies have entered the country, the largest figure in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). As of 2020, it was South Korea's third-largest trading partner among the CIS countries.
The annual high-level meeting, launched in 2018, has served as a chance for the two sides to discuss a wide range of bilateral economic issues.