FIJI NEWS

Korea praises Fiji progress

By MAIKA BOLATIKI The Republic of Korea celebrates its National Foundation Day today and supports Fiji’s roadmap for return to full democracy. Korean Ambassador Hae-wook Cheong said Korea welcomed Fiji’s
03 Oct 2012 12:43

By MAIKA BOLATIKI

The Republic of Korea celebrates its National Foundation Day today and supports Fiji’s roadmap for return to full democracy.
Korean Ambassador Hae-wook Cheong said Korea welcomed Fiji’s on-going progress in electronic voter registration and establishment of the Constitution Commission to be followed by national consultation on a draft Constitution.
“Korea supports the roadmap for return to full democracy by 2014 election,” Mr Cheong said.
“The bilateral relations between the two countries has reached another new height after the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, opened Fiji’s Embassy in Seoul in July.
“In our bilateral relations, I am most delighted that the opening of Fiji’s Embassy in Korea was realised in July. It is a landmark event to herald full-fledged and reciprocal engagements in 41 years of diplomatic relations.”
After the opening of the Fiji Embassy the Prime Minister presided over the observance of the Fiji Day celebrations during the Yeosu Exposition. Cabinet ministers and senior officials also visited Korea on a number of official missions.
Mr Cheong said bilateral trade grew after a few stagnant years.
Trade volume in 2011 amounted to FJD 82 million, or 34 per cent increase from the year before. With a view to strengthening bilateral trade link, Korean Embassy hosted the first Fiji-Korea Business Forum last year.
The Embassy facilitated the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Federation of Korean Industries and Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation in July 2012.
The second Fiji-Korea Business Forum and Catalogue Exhibition is slated for November 15.
Bilateral co-operation in economic resources and development, he said was well underway.
Early this year, Korea Airport Corporation was awarded with Doppler VHF Omni-directional Range & Distance Measuring Equipment (DVOR/DME) project in Nadi and Nausori airports tendered by Airport Fiji Ltd.
Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST, formerly KORDI) launched seafloor metallic sulfide exploration in April this year.
Subsequently, the MOU was signed between Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs of Korea and the Ministry of Land and Mineral Resources of Fiji.
In the area of development assistance, Korea International Co-operation Agency (KOICA) dedicated a photovoltaic power generation system at the USP as part of the renewable energy development project during 2010~2012. In the wake of successive floods in the Western Division early this year, KOICA provided a total of $US100,000 as humanitarian relief assistance.
Learning from Korea’s own experience that human resources are valuable assets in a country’s development, Korea continues to provide training and scholarship opportunities to Fijian government officials.
On the average, KOICA sponsors seven people for Masters degree programmes and 25 people for short-term courses each year.
Over 250 government officials have benefitted from these programmes to date.
He said cultural exchanges and people-to-people contacts were expanding in scope. In August, the “Explore the Taste of Korea” event in Suva was well received by invited guests.
In return, Fijian cultural performance was showcased to Korean people by the famed Kabu ni Vanua Meke Group at the Fiji Day celebrations during 2012 Yeosu Expo.




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