South Korea, Uzbekistan Seal Multi-Billion Dollar Economic Deal

Posted August 24th, 2011 at 2:40 am (UTC-5)
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South Korea and Uzbekistan have signed a set of development deals worth $4 billion during a visit to the Central Asian nation by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency says the deal provides for the joint development of Uzbekistan's Surgil gas field near the Aral Sea, including construction of a gas and chemical plant. It is the largest development contract between the two nations since they established diplomatic relations in 1992.

The deals were signed Tuesday, shortly after Mr. Lee arrived in Tashkent for talks with his counterpart Islam Karimov. Mr. Karimov told reporters that Uzbekistan is opening its strategic resources, such as rare earth minerals and uranium, to South Korean businesses.

Mr. Lee's visit to Uzbekistan is the second leg of three-nation tour of Central Asia, which began with a three-day trip to Mongolia. His final stop is in Kazakhstan.