S. Korean envoy to U.S. is new head of int'l trade association

February 22, 2012 10:55 am 

SEOUL, Feb. 22 –South Korean Ambassador to the United States Han Duck-soo was elected on Wednesday as the new chief of the country's international traders' organization.

The Korea International Trade Association (KITA) selected Han as the new chairman and chief executive in a general meeting to replace outgoing chief Sakong Il, who completes his three-year tenure on Wednesday.

Han offered to step down as ambassador last week, saying he had served his post for three years. The 62-year-old bureaucrat was the country's finance minister and prime minister before being named Seoul's top envoy to the United States in 2009.

"Trade has led South Korea's economic growth for years and propped up the economy when the world economy fell into a slump," Han said in an inauguration speech. "I'll do my best to improve competitiveness of our small and medium-size trading companies and establish better infrastructure and business-government cooperation network."

He also said South Korea's free trade agreements (FTAs) will pave the way for the country to expand its overseas market. The country has signed trade pacts with the world's top economic blocs of the European Union and the United States. The Korea-EU FTA took effect in July last year and the implementation of the Korea-U.S. pact is slated for March 15.(PNA/Yonhap)



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