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[Herald Interview] Chile, Korea need to boost global lithium value chain: minister

Bilateral cooperation between Chile and South Korea is crucial, as they have a shared goal of boosting the global lithium value chain, Nicolas Grau, Chilean minister of economy, development and tourism, told The Korea Herald on Thursday.

“Korea needs lithium, hydrogen and clean energy fuel, and Chile needs certainty of demand, knowledge and technology to develop new industry,” said Grau, noting the situation as a “win-win” for Chile and Korea.

Grau was in Seoul from Oct. 12-14 to promote foreign investment in Chile, establish direct relationships with key Korean players, and identify specific needs to harness the expertise in the lithium sector.

He attended the 23rd Korea-Chile Economic Cooperation Committee meeting to commemorate the 20th anniversary of signing the Korea-Chile Free Trade Agreement on Thursday in Seoul.

During the visit, Grau also held talks with Industry and Energy Minister Bang Moon-kyu, Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun, and representatives from the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), and the Korea Battery Industry Association (KBIA) to share views on expanding trade, the critical mineral supply chain, and green energy.

“High interest from related companies in the business opportunities offered by the National Lithium Strategy is confirmed and reinforced,” said Grau based on productive discussions with his Korean counterparts, the KITA and the KBIA.

"Investing in Chile is to strengthen ties between Chile and Korea in the global lithium value chain,” according to Grau.

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