S. Korea, Central Asian countries to launch secretariat for tighter cooperation

South Korea and five Central Asian countries will launch a secretariat in Seoul next year to take better charge of the deepening collaboration in economic and cultural sectors, the foreign ministry said Wednesday, source from the Yonhap.

Set for launch in the later half of 2017, the secretariat will manage the Korea-Central Asia Cooperation Forum, an annual high-level discussion between Seoul and the five nations which started in 2007, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Central Asian countries are Kazakhstan, Tadjikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrghzstan.

The latest decision was sealed in the 10th session of the forum held in Seoul on Tuesday. The event brought together some 200 foreign affairs officials, academics and businessmen from the five Central Asian countries and South Korea.

After the launch, the secretariat will push to hold international conferences on the issue of expanding collaboration in medical services, tourism and building networks of next-generation leaders as its initial projects, the ministry said.

"(The secretariat) will play its role in projecting a long-term direction for South Korea-Central Asia cooperation as an incubator for prospective collaboration projects," South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam said during the forum a day earlier.

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