Republic of Korea’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Park Jin said that the relationship between Ethiopia and Korea is bonded with shared history and noble sacrifice.
He made the remark during his first official visit to Africa that he started from Ethiopia, yesterday.
Ethiopia was the first African nation to come to Korea’s aid at the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, he said, adding “the brave 6,307 Ethiopian soldiers fought alongside with the Korean soldiers to safeguarding Korea’s peace and freedom.”
“Ethiopia was the only country to dispatch ground force to the Korean War to support Korean peace and independence. We feel an abiding sense of big gratitude with the year marking the 70th anniversary of the armistice agreement of the Korean peninsula,” he elaborated.
“Your [Korea war veterans] sacrifice and devotion have enabled us to build the Republic of Korea we know today, a nation of freedom, peace and prosperity. We are eternally grateful to Ethiopia,” the Minister noted.
Ethiopia is the only country to be designated as a priority partner for official development assistance by our government in 2011 and it remains a priority to this day, Park Jin stated, and stressed “Ethiopia is the largest recipient of our grant within Africa.”
According to him, with the 1.4 billion people of 54 countries represents burgeoning consumer markets, entrepreneurial spirit, technological innovation, and sustainable development, Africa is the next global powerhouse of the 21st century.
“The future of the world economy depends on Africa as African youth will account a prominent share of the global labor growth in the coming era,” he added.
The trade volume between Korea and Africa has been increasing for years, the foreign minister said citing last year’s trade figure that reached the highest record of 27 billion USD.
According to him, more than 300 Korean companies are actively engaging with African partners.
In the last 15 years Korean government has expanded its development assistance to Africa by 10 folds, he stated, and affirmed “we are committed to increasing it further including the Korea-AU cooperation fund.”
High-level exchanges have increased fostering a robust dynamic partnership, he said, and underscored “let us not be satisfied with the past achievements. New engines for future cooperation need to be created that align with the changing time.”
“Korea will host for the first time, the Korea-Africa Summit next year; it will offer strong momentum at the highest level for elevating our cooperation in such areas as trade, investment, technology and green growth,” he revealed.
Park Jin Reaffirms Korea’s commitment to fostering cooperation between Korea and Africa.
As part of his visit to Ethiopia, the Foreign Affairs Minister has conferred with the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Demeke Mekonnen on Tuesday and exchanged views on strengthening cooperation in economic development, trade, investment and other issues of common interest.
During the occasion, the two sides have agreed to elevate bilateral relations to higher level of strategic partnership.
Source: Ethiopian News Agency