KOREA - President Park Geun-hye held a summit with French President Francois Hollande in Paris on Monday and agreed to boost cooperation in advanced technology and finance for overall expansion of economic ties.
The two leaders discussed ways to broaden exchanges by simplifying visa procedures and to enable financial support for advancements by French and Korean companies to third countries such as in Africa.
For cooperation in creative industries, the two leaders shared views on projects including the provision of batteries for electric vehicles and investment in biopharmaceuticals.
The two leaders also discussed ways to harness France's cultural strength in Korea's drive for a creative economy as its main growth engine, and France's support in Korea's peace initiatives for the Korean Peninsula and the Northeast Asian region.
On the same day, Park arranged a special meeting with the wife of a former governor of Isere, who had reportedly taken good care of the president when she was studying there 39 years ago. Park, the daughter of former President Park Chung-hee, had gone to France at age 22 with the dream of becoming a professor.
Park also met with leading business representatives of Korea and France and, in a speech delivered in French, underscored the Seoul government's push for wider economic ties.
Park's three-day visit to France was highlighted on Sunday by cultural events, including a Korean TV drama festival, a meeting with UNESCO chief Irina Bokova and a visit to the Orsay Museum.
Park watched French fans of Korean TV dramas sing and dance to the tunes of theme songs of popular series as she sought to promote Korean culture. The Korean "Drama Party" was voluntarily organised by a French fan club of Korean dramas called Bonjour Coree, officials said.
During the event held at the Espace Pierre Cardin performance hall, video clips of popular dramas such as "Princess Hours," "Boys Over Flowers" and "Full House" were shown as hundreds of French fans applauded. French winners in K-pop contests and then danced to drama theme songs.