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FM Kang discusses biz support with mission chiefs in Middle East amid virus outbreak


Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha held a videoconference with the chiefs of South Korean missions in six Middle Eastern nations on Wednesday to discuss ways to boost support for Korean businesses and cooperation with host countries amid the coronavirus pandemic, her office said.

In the videoconference with the ambassadors to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain, Seoul's top diplomat called for stepped-up efforts to provide the best assistance possible to South Korean businesspeople and citizens in the region so as to ensure their safety and help them continue to do business there, the ministry said in a release.

Many South Korean firms engaged in business in the Middle East, particularly in the construction sector, are experiencing difficulties as those countries have enforced lockdowns and banned the entry of foreigners over the COVID-19 outbreak.

In the video talks, Kang also asked the mission chiefs to explore ways to enhance cooperation with the six countries -- the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) -- considering the downtrend of oil prices and various reforms being undertaken by them to diversify growth engines besides oil production. (yonhap)