It looks clear that Korea and Bolivia are in the right track (and in good hands) to increased cooperation in the economic and various other areas, and this was immediately apparent in the Independence Day speech of Ambassador Guadalupe Palomeque de Taboada of Bolivia, the congratulatory remarks by Vice President Cho Won-hi of Samsung Engineering and the accreditation remarks of Korean Ambassador Jong-cheol Lee in Bolivia.
Speaking at a reception she hosted at the Millennium Seoul Hilton on Aug. 6, 2015 to mark Bolivia’s 190th Independence anniversary and the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Korea, Ambassador Palomeque de Taboada of Bolivia said that Bolivia is pursuing a ‘Live Well’ policy, achieving an average 5% economic growth and, in this effort, wants to increase cooperation with the outside world, especially Korea.
In this respect, Korea definitely has a lot to offer. As if to second the ambassador’s remarks, Vice President Cho of Samsung Engineering said in his toast-offer remarks that Samsung Engineering hopes to participate as an active and reliable partner in the transformation of the oil and gas industry, through higher value production facilities that will contribute to maximizing the socio-economic benefits of the Bolivian people.
Obviously Samsung knows where it can best cooperate with Bolivia and this was clear in the accreditation remarks of Korean Ambassador Jong-cheol Lee in Bolivia who was accredited to the country last April. Lee said, “Bolivia is very rich in natural gas and other mineral resources, especially in the next-generation battery raw materials such as lithium of which Bolivia has the largest reserves in the world.” For Samsung, it might not be amiss to pay attention, additionally, to lithium that is an indispensable material to the automobile batteries.
Deputy Minister Lee Tae-ho for Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) cited the important reform and economic development policies of President Evo Morales of Bolivia citing that The New York Times of the United States and the Guardian of the United Kingdom have highly praised the results of his reforms for the reduction of inequalities and achievement of economic growth that averaged 5%. (See excerpts from the speeches of Ambassador Palomeque de Taboada and Vice President Cho of Samsung Engineering at the end of this Article.)
As if to accent the warm and close relations between Korea and Bolivia, the reception included a number of interesting programs such as showing of the colorful and beautiful traditional costumes and fashions of the two countries.
An estimated 600 Korean and international dignitaries attended the party, who included Ambassadors Albino Malungo of Angola, Jorge Roballo of Argentina, RamziTeymurov of Azerbaijan, Dato Paduka Haji ModhRosli Bin Haji Sabtu of Brunei Darussalam, Suth Dina of Cambodia, Tito Saul PinillaPinilla of Colombia, GreciaFiodaliciaPichardo of Dominican Republic, Oscar Gustavo Herrera Gilbert of Ecuador, Elizabeth Nicol of Ghana, Gustavo Adolfo Lopez Calderon of Guatemala, Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla of Holy See, Hassan Taherian of Iran, Khamsouay Keodalavong of Laos, Dato Rohanabinti Ramli of Malaysia, Jose Luis Bernal of Mexico, Jorge Ramon Arnesto Alm of Nicaragua, Jaime Antonio Pomareda of Peru, Raul S. Hernandez of the Philippines, Emma-Francoise Isumbingabo of Rwanda, Zoran Kazazovic of Serbia, Omrie Michael Golley of Sierra Leone, Yip Wei Kiat of Singapore, Nozuko Gloria Bam of South Africa, Vasyl Marmazov of Ukraine, Dr. Alba Florio Legnani of Uruguay, Botirjon Asadov of Uzbekistan and Yadira Hidalgo de Ortiz of Venezuela.
Attendance from the Korean society was also very large, including business company CEOs and media representatives such as Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post that operates five media units and marks the 30th anniversary of founding this year.
Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Palomeque de Taboada of Bolivia:
Please allow me to share this celebration with all of you, with two significant reasons: the 190th Anniversary of the Bolivian National Day and the 50 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Plurinational State of Bolivia and the Republic of Korea.
The 50th Anniversary of bilateral relations this year was also a motive to exchange congratulations between the President Park Geun-Hye and the President Evo Morales Ayma, raising the challenge to deepen the bilateral relations for the new upcoming half century. The Bolivian President highlighted certain similarities rooted in our ancient cultures as well as common principles and values such as mutual respect, dignity, honor and dedication to work, that have allowed each country, according to its own development paradigm, to overcome the difficulties throughout its history.
I would like to emphasize that in the first quarter part of this year, we had two high-level visits, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bolivia, David Choquehuanca Cespedes, who in January met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, Yun Byung-Se; as well as the visit in March of the Bolivian Minister of Development Planning, Rene Orellana Halkyer. During both visits, important initiatives were carried out, including the subscription of Finance Agreement with EXIMBANK which allow us to predict a promising future to deepen the friendship bonds between both countries.
As a part of this commemoration, and as countries that respect the “Mother Earth”, let me highlight that the Postal Services of the Republic of Korea and the Plurinational State of Bolivia have jointly issued a set of stamps with the theme of two bird species in danger of extinction.
In this framework, the Embassy of Bolivia, two years after its reopening in Korea, eager to show the richness of its cultural heritage and traditions, as a way to contribute to a greater understanding between our peoples, displayed yesterday, through the “charango” notes and the songs of our land, a sample of the Bolivian Musical Landscape. Another cultural encounter is being organized between two famous painters of each country, in the upcoming month of September.
In regards to the second reason that brought us today to this important celebration, the independence of Bolivia, I would like to highlight the fact that the first yell for freedom in Bolivia occurred in 1809, but it was only on August 6, 1825, when the General Assembly of Deputies of the then so-called Upper Peru - which was administered by the Royal Audience of Charcas - decided its independence, creating Bolivia.
Another milestone that I would like to emphasize on this occasion, is the election of the first indigenous president of Bolivia, Evo Morales Ayma, in December 2005, re-elected by the people for three consecutive terms in the framework of a democratic and cultural revolution, allowing him to carry out a process of change by restructuring the laws and institutions and implementing new economic policies, contributing to the political transformation that is currently being led in Latin America.
This economic revolution allowed Bolivia to achieve a sustained growth of around 5% on the average, with a fiscal surplus for nine consecutive years, ranking it among one of the most stable economies of the region.
Bolivians are building their own development paradigm, known as “Living Well" which is a civilizational and cultural horizon through which, in a collective, complementary and solidary way, life is holistically appreciated.
In this context, the Plurinational State of Bolivia will continue to increase the exchange of experiences in development in order to reduce technological dependence on traditional partners, since we need more investments and better conditions of market access for our exports with added value. For this purpose, we hope to keep on counting with the valuable Korean cooperation.
Finally, I would like to thank all the ones that are present here for having taken part in this joint celebration that we expect to be permanent.
Excerpts from the toast remarks by Vice President Cho of Samsung Engineering:
It is my great pleasure to stand before you this evening to propose the official toast on the 190th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of the Plurinational State of Bolivia signed on august 6th of 1825
In this opportunity, let’s remember the significant efforts and clear conviction of heroes such as Simon Bolivar and General Antonio Jose de Sucre who dreamed of a united and prosperous country about two hundred years ago.
Their legacy still lives on today in modern Bolivia’s desire to promote the good life of its people and harmonious relation with its neighbors.
Also, tonight’s celebration is especially meaningful to all Koreans, since it reminds us of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic and friendly relations between our two countries. We must take pride that in spite of the usual challenges presented by international affairs, we now enjoy the most prosperous period of cultural, commercial and investment exchanges, since the beginning of our relations in 1965.
My presence this evening as representative of Samsung Engineering is a testament of our company’s close relationship with the State Hydrocarbon Company YPFB as well as our commitment to the execution of projects of mutual interest, which are the basis for Bolivia’s industrial development.
In addition, beyond the construction of the Ammonia and Urea Plants in Cochabamba, Samsung Engineering hopes to participate as an active and reliable partner in the transformation of the Oil and Gas industry, through higher value production facilities that will maximize the socioeconomic benefits in favor of the Bolivian people.
We truly appreciate this invitation and the confidence granted to our company throughout this journey.
Finally, without further ado, let’s raise our glasses in a toast with this authentic Bolivian Singani cocktail to a long lasting friendship and to the welfare and prosperity of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.
(Congratulatory speech by Deputy Minister Lee of MOFA will be added upon arrival.)
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