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    Culture / Tourism Industry  
S.Korea mulling Mercosur trade deal: Brazil FM   



BRASILIA — South Korea on Sunday raised the possibility of a trade deal with South American trade bloc Mercosur at a meeting between Prime Minister Kim Hwang-Sik and new Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, her foreign minister said.

The South Korean delegation "spoke about the hypothesis of a Korea-Mercosur free trade agreement," Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota told reporters after the meeting.

Rousseff, who was sworn in Saturday as Brazil's first female president, met with Kim on her first full day in office.

Patriota described the meeting as a "substantive debate where they spoke of a strategic (Korean-Brazilian) partnership in matters of high technology."

The official said the two economies were "very complementary" and both countries shared "a desire to intensify their cooperation in sectors like nuclear energy, oil, and shipbuilding."

South Korea has also shown interest in investing in a high-speed railway line between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, although international bidding for the project was recently postponed for some months, Patriota said.

At its December summit, Mercosur, comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, signed preferential tariff agreements with India, Malaysia, Morocco and South Korea.

It is currently engaged in free trade agreement talks with the European Union.



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