President Lee Myung-bak and his visiting Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos on Thursday discussed boosting cooperative ties in energy, resources, science and technology. The two leaders agreed to elevate their relations to a "strategic cooperative partnership" and set up regular mechanisms such as high-level conferences, business meetings and forums for collaboration. They also agreed to sign a free trade agreement by the end of this year. Two-way trade between Korea and Colombia nearly doubled in 2010 to US$1.8 billion while Korean exports to the Latin American country were worth nearly $1.4 billion the same year. The two leaders also presided over the signing of a series of memorandums of understanding calling for a policy consultation forum, joint development of energy resources, infrastructure construction, and green growth. This is the third visit by a Colombian president to Korea since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1962.