South Korea inks minerals, EV international agreements

  • : Battery materials, Metals
  • 23/09/11

South Korea has signed multiple mineral and electric vehicle (EV) agreements at international talks over the past week, as it sets sights on furthering its EV battery manufacturing ambitions.

The agreements are in line with the ambitious targets and goals the country unveiled this year, despite the nation's lacklustre manufacturing purchasing managers' index.

The Philippines is the fifth Asean country to have a free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea and it was signed on the sidelines of the 43rd Asean Summit that took place in Jakarta last week, according to South Korea's trade, industry and energy ministry (Motie). The FTA will benefit South Korean automobile and car part exports to the Philippines through tariff removals, cutting the current tariff rate of 3-30pc for automobile and car part exports down to zero over the next five years, with the same for the 5pc tariffs for eco-friendly cars like EVs and hybrids. The FTA is expected to come into effect by the first half of 2024 after being ratified in South Korea's National Assembly, said Motie.

South Korea and Indonesia also signed 16 agreements during the summit, including two on establishing joint research and development centers for critical minerals supply chain, and two regarding two-wheeler EVs and integrated parking solutions. An agreement involved nurturing a nuclear energy industrial base, with another five agreements signed for electric power and clean energy for eco-friendly equipment, green ammonia and carbon capture and storage. Further details regarding these agreements were undisclosed.

South Korea also signed two agreements with Indonesia regarding EV ecosystem co-operation and "future industries" during last week's Korea-Indonesia summit talks. Under the EV ecosystem agreement, they will expand co-operation on four EV "critical areas", namely infrastructure expansion, training personnel, joint international research and development projects, as well as government policies and systems, said Motie.

South Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol met Argentine president Alberto Fernandez during last week's G20 summit in New Delhi and proposed to explore joint lithium-ion battery production in Argentina. Argentina is poised to become a major player in lithium and produced 6,200t of lithium last year, making it the world's fourth-largest producer.

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