South Korea and Russia consider Siberian infrastructure fund

The Industrial Bank of Korea has suggested creating a joint fund with Russia to build infrastructure in Russia’s Far East, with South Korea ready to invest $1bn, a top Russian politician has claimed. 

Potential projects have been highlighted in a number of areas including energy, shipbuilding and genetic engineering. 

"Executives of the Industrial Bank of Korea have come up with a proposal to set up a platform, a joint fund for infrastructure projects in the Far East," said Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev (pictured) at a Russian-South Korean business forum in Seoul, Russian news agency TASS reported. 

"The Russian Far East is somewhat behind the European regions of the country and this stems in a big measure from the underdeveloped infrastructure there," Trutnev said. "President Putin has given us a task to eliminate this disproportion and to start building roads, seaport and so on." 

According to TASS, he said the Koreans were ready to invest $1bn. 

He added: "We are willing to co-operate in shipbuilding, energy sector, infrastructure development, wood and mineral processing. Apart from mineral resources, our country is interested in collaborating in the high technologies industry." 

TASS reported that South Korea is interested in using the Northern Sea Route, a shipping lane located in arctic waters which is only free of ice for two months a year. 

Russia’s Fund for Development of the Far East will consider the development. Russia is one of  South Korea’s top trading partners.

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