S. Korea’s Park to Visit

S. Korea’s Park to VisitS. Korea’s Park to Visit

South Korean President Park Geun-hye will make a state visit to Iran from May 1 to 3 to meet President Hassan Rouhani and initiate discussions with Iran on a wide range of areas including energy and engineering, her office said on Monday.

Park's visit will be the first by a South Korean leader since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1962 and her office said it hoped the visit would help deepen ties after sanctions on Iran were lifted, Reuters reported. Iran on January 17 was unshackled by years of economic sanctions targeting its nuclear program.

South Korea hopes its engineering and ship-building industries can benefit from Iran's return to markets after the sanctions were lifted.

Its ship builders, along with Chinese yards, hope to be in line for huge orders as Iran modernizes its aging fleet of supertankers, which is the world's largest.

Most South Korean ship builders, including Hyundai Heavy Industries and Samsung Heavy Industries are likely to bid for new contracts, according to shipping sources.

South Korean companies also hope to help modernize Iran’s infrastructure, from refineries, roads to the telecommunication sector as well as enter the market to supply goods ranging from smartphones to televisions to automobiles.