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How Expanding Trans-Border Transportation Networks Will Impact South Korean-Mongolian Energy Cooperation: Using the Greater Tumen River Initiative to Realize the Eurasia Initiative
Published January 22, 2014
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The Greater Tumen Initiative (GTI) is a regional cooperation mechanism among Republic of Korea, People’s Republic of China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Mongolia, and Russian Federation which is supported by the UNDP. GTI member governments established this mechanism with the goal of strengthening economic and technical cooperation to obtain greater growth and sustainable development in Northeast Asia particularly in the Greater Tumen Region. The GTI focuses on the priority areas of transport, trade and investment, tourism, energy, with environment as a cross-cutting sector. For South Korea, the GTI represents an important opportunity to actualize the Eurasia Initiative announced by President Park Geun-hye in October 2013. The Eurasia Initiative is a proposal to link rail and road networks, energy, and logistics infrastructure from Korea’s Busan across the Eurasian continent to Europe in a modern ‘Silk Road Express.’ One potential energy mineral resource partner for the ROK could be Mongolia. The GTI transportation grid design meshes completely with Mongolia’s intention to reorient its mineral resource customers from China to consumers in Korea, Japan, and Europe. Establishing a new cross-border transportation network should strengthen ROK-Mongolian energy cooperation.

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