President Lee Myung-bak on Tuesday agreed with Uzbek President Islam Karimov to closely cooperate for the success of joint energy development projects in the Central Asian country during their summit talks in Tashkent.
With the two leaders present, a consortium of South Korean companies led by Korea Gas Corp. signed contracts worth a total of $4.1 billion with the Uzbek government to develop a gas reserve and build a gas chemical plant in Surgil, near the Aral Sea. The Surgil gas field holds an estimated 96 million tons of liquefied natural gas, equivalent to 830 million barrels of petroleum.
(From left) Lee Myung-bak, Islam Karimov
Korea also agreed to export its information technologies to Uzbekistan to help the country modernize its stock market trading system.
“The two leaders discussed energy, natural resources, construction of plant, infrastructure, IT, health care, medicine as well as trade and investment,” a Cheong Wa Dae official said.
It was Lee’s sixth meeting with Karimov. The two first met in 2002 when Lee was serving as the Seoul mayor. Karimov then received honorary Seoul citizenship from Lee and also attended Lee’s presidential inauguration ceremony in 2009.
Lee is to wrap up his state visit to Uzbekistan on Wednesday and head for Kazakhstan. He is scheduled to return home Friday morning.
By Kim So-hyun (email@example.com)