South Korea Signs Deals With Multiple African Nations on Mining and Trade

by | 5. Jun 2024 - 09:38 | Economy

2024 Korea-Africa Summit in Seoul concluded successfully.

South Korea hosted leaders and delegations from 48 African countries over the last two days for the inaugural Korea-Africa Summit, seeking to boost diplomatic ties and trade relations and explore investment opportunities. Almost 50 deals and agreements have been signed during the summit, according to the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Reuters reports.

Agreements on critical minerals have been signed with Ethiopia and Tanzania, among others. South Korea’s main agenda of the summit was to establish new sources to supply its high-tech industry. While the East-Asian country is a major player in the global semiconductor industry, for example, it lacks deposits of the needed critical minerals. It is highly import-dependent, mainly on industry leader China.

Minerals for Modernization

In return, South Korea pledges to invest billions in the African continent: during the summit’s opening ceremony, President Yoon Suk Yeol announced 24 billion in aid and investment support. In addition, South Korean companies will modernize the infrastructure, such as the motor manufacturer Hyosung Heavy Industries, which will enhance Mozambique’s power grid.

The ministry expects the investments and agreements to yield additional cooperation between South Korea and the African nations in the future, boosting supply chain diversification and competitiveness.

Besides Africa, South Korea also looks elsewhere for partners to diversify its supply chains. For example, a South Korean company recently secured rights to three rare earth mines in Vietnam, and the Asian country’s Export-Import Bank invested millions in the Australian rare earth miner Arafura.

Photo: iStock/Jae Young Ju

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