June 7 (UPI) -- China's automobile industry is wooing South Korean partners to invest in new electric vehicles and other car innovations.
Shi Jianghua, deputy secretary-general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, said Monday that 732,000 new electric vehicles were sold in China from January to April.
Those vehicles represented 8.3% of all sales in the period, Shi said, Yonhap and Financial News reported.
Shi was speaking at a Korea-China cooperation forum on future cars and innovation in Beijing. Shi also said at the event that the country would surpass 2 million electric vehicles in sales this year, according to reports.
Jin Yinshi, a Chinese fuel cell researcher, said at the forum that the Chinese government is introducing a number of policies to attract investments from foreign companies, including favorable land leases and "subsidies."
"We hope that many foreign firms will actively invest to advance themselves in the China market," Jin said.
Chinese calls for South Korean investments in Chinese manufacturers come at a time when the administration of President Moon Jae-in is pursuing a policy of reducing carbon emissions under Seoul's "Green New Deal," a nod to U.S. policy proposals of the same name.
According to analysts Sung-young Kim, Elizabeth Thurbon, Hao Tan and John Mathews in September, South Korea's Green New Deal has set a target of 1.13 million electric vehicles and 200,000 hydrogen-powered fuel-cell electric vehicles on Korean roads by 2025.
Kim Se-yeop of government-owned Korea Automotive Technology Institute said Monday that the government's supply-side economic policy could enable South Korea's new vehicle market to "grow rapidly."
Sales of new electric vehicles cars increased by 47% in 2020 over the previous year, despite an economic slowdown and COVID-19, Kim said.
Kim also said Korea is to invest in 500,000 electric vehicle recharging stations by 2025.
Executives at the forum said SK Innovation and other electric vehicle battery manufacturers are exploring cooperation with Chinese companies, according to Yonhap.