Lee, Merkel Agree on Stronger Ties and Cooperation in Renewable Engergy

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : November 11, 2010, 15:08 | Updated : November 11, 2010, 15:08

**12일자 2면 하단**

**사진설명: German Chancellor Angela Merkel is talking to S Korean presidet Lee Myung-bak on Thursday before the bilateral meeting.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and German Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed Thursday to bolster bilateral ties in the renewable energy sector and further facilitate economic cooperation the in private sector.

In talks held on the sidelines of the G20 economic summit here, the two leaders agreed to boost cooperation on the renewable energy sector and science technology and further enhance economic exchanges in the private sector, Lee's office Cheong Wa Dae said.

Noting that Germany is South Korea's biggest trade partner among the EU countries and the third biggest investor, the leaders agreed to expand economic ties beyond the government level, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

Lee expressed his hope that the two-day summit will make further progress beyond agreements reached at the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting, and asked for Germany's support for drawing concrete outcomes from the summit, Cheong Wa Dae said.

The two leaders also shared their views on Germany's reunification and its efforts for social unity, according to Cheong Wa Dae. South Korea remains the only divided nation in the world, following its civil war decades ago.

Meanwhile German Chancellor said she will not accept any numerical limits for current account imbalances at the G20 summit in Seoul.

"For strong, balanced growth it is necessary to reduce the global imbalances in the current accounts of countries," Merkel said in a speech at the G20 business summit, according to a text which was released in advance.

"Only cooperative action could get us forward. The key to reduce the existing imbalances is mainly to have flexible moving exchange rates of the major currencies. They have to reflect the economic fundamentals of the countries."

She made clear that she would not accept any numerical limits for current account imbalances.

"Fixing limits for current account surpluses or deficits is neither economically justified nor politically appropriate. This would also be in contrast to the principles of free trade in the world," she added.

Merkel said the leading rich countries had expressed their willingness at the G20 Summit in Toronto in June to reduce their deficits.

"It is important for me that the industrial countries had promised to half their deficits by 2013 and to stabilize or reduce their debt-ratio by 2016," she said.

Merkel added that removing barriers to trade was key to strengthening the global recovery.

"The summit must give a clear signal that the G20 is willing to lead the Doha Round to a successful end next year," she said, referring to long-stalled global free trade talks.

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