TIBET: China and the Republic of Korea signed a $150-billion partnership on Thursday for South Korean travel industry, the first such bilateral agreement in Asia.
China’s Ministry of Commerce said the deal will boost tourism in South Korea and provide a source of investment for the South Korean economy.
The South Korean government said the two countries have signed a deal for the creation of an investment fund to invest in the tourism industry, which has been hit by a wave of South Korean expulsions over the past decade.
China, which hosts the world’s third-largest economy, has been trying to diversify its tourist trade away from South Korea for decades, and South Korean officials have blamed the downturn on China’s increasingly strict visa restrictions and the economic impact of Chinese investments in South Korean infrastructure projects.
China has a strong presence in South KOREA and has been expanding its trade in South Asia, especially in China, where the two Koreas have a long history of cooperation.
South Korea has been the world leader in the production of luxury items, including watches, designer clothes and jewelry, but has been struggling to lure overseas Chinese tourists and have struggled to develop new industries.
China is also the largest trading partner for South Korea, with China contributing more than $6 billion in the past three years, according to the International Monetary Fund.
South Korean business groups have been lobbying the government to help diversify the South Korea economy, and the South Asian Development Bank has helped the government develop a $1.5-billion tourism and tourism infrastructure investment fund.