It appears that Korea and Tajikistan are in for substantially increased cooperation for mutual benefit.
President Park Geun-hye hosted a summit meeting with President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan at the EXCO Convention Center in Daegu last April on the occasion of his visit to Korea to attend the World Water Forum 2015.
At the time, President Park Geun-hye of the Republic of Korea highly praised the leading role that the Republic of Tajikistan played in the international discussions on water as Tajikistan had hosted high-ranking U.N. cooperation meetings on water in both 2013 and earlier this year.
President Park also mentioned that Tajikistan is rich in water resources, ranking eighth in the world, and congratulated the opening of the Tajikistan Embassy in Seoul on April 13 this year, on the occasion of President Rahmon’s visit to Korea. President Park said that the new Embassy of Tajikistan in Seoul will further strengthen the bilateral cooperation across many fields and boost people-to-people exchanges and economic cooperation.
On his part, President Rahmon of Tajikistani said that his country was strongly interested in expanding mutually beneficial cooperation with Korea at both the bilateral and multilateral level. He hoped that his visit to Korea would provide an important opportunity to develop the bilateral relationship in a more dynamic manner.
President Rahmon said that the potential for cooperation still needs to be fully developed, despite an expanding volume of bilateral trade, which increased more than seven times over the ten years from 2004 to 2014.
The Tajikistan leader suggested that both countries could possibly expand cooperation in the following sectors: IT, electronic goods, home appliances, mineral development, rare metals development, energy resource development, textiles and light industry. He further hoped that Korean firms would actively enter the Tajikistani market, backed by the business-friendly environment to be found there.
To bolster bilateral cooperation, President Rahmon said he would establish a cooperation committee to cover the economy, science and technology. He also hoped that Korea would take an interest in and support possible cooperative projects between local governments of the two countries.
The Tajikistan leader highly valued President Park’s efforts to advance inter-Korean relations. He also expressed his support for Korea’s plan to build a cooperative body for Korea-Central Asian cooperation in order to expand the role of the Korea-Central Asia Forum.
President Park expressed her hopes to bolster bilateral cooperation in regard to the establishment of a cooperation committee to cover the economy, science and technology, which was signed that day. She expressed her gratitude to Tajikistan for supporting Korea’s stance in the international community.
Based on such cooperation, both leaders agreed to further strengthen the bilateral relationship at international organizations, such as the United Nations.
After the Korea-Tajikistan summit, the two countries signed five cooperative documents in various sectors, including aviation, the economy, science, technology, sports, foreign affairs and culture and the arts.
Against this backdrop of fast-growing ties of relations between the two countries, The Korea Post media (publisher of two Korean-language and three English news media), recently interviewed Charge d’Affaires Kiromov Salohiddin of Tajikistan in Seoul. Details of the interview follow:
Question: Please briefly introduce the President of your country:
Answer: The President of the Republic of Tajikistan H.E. Mr. Emomali Rahmon enjoys popular support among our nation and pursues an open-door policy in the international relations and in these efforts he has the door of the Republic of Tajikistan wide open to all the countries of the world for the promotion of mutually beneficial relations and cooperation.
Q: How about with Korea?
A: The cordial relations between the Republic Tajikistan and the Republic of Korea date back to the Period of the Silla Kingdom through the Silk Road trade thousands of years ago.
And nowadays Tajikistan considers the Republic of Korea is one of the reliable and important partners and attaches great importance to the development and strengthening of multifaceted cooperation with the Republic of Korea.
Q: Please briefly introduce your country to the readers of The Korea Post:
A: Tajikistan is a mountainous country where some 93% of the total area of the country consists of mountains. We have mountains that stand more than 7,000 meter high. The highest mountain is Pamir with Ismoil Somoni Peak of 7,495 meters in height, and is very famous for people enjoying alpinism, hiking and mountaineering. Pamir Mountain is called ‘The Roof of the World’.
Q: What is the volume of trade between the two countries and what’s your outlook of increased bilateral trade and economic cooperation?
A: The present volume of bilateral commerce is not very large. It ranges around US$55 million. However, efforts are being increasingly made on both sides to boost the volume and range of economic cooperation between our two countries. Tajikistan is mainly an agricultural country, but we also have rich natural resources, like gold, silver, aluminum etc. Some Korean companies have already started cooperation with Tajikistani companies in aluminum business in Tajikistan.
Cotton is also one of the important products of Tajikistan. We are producing 400,000 tons of cotton a year which is in very high quality and which is used in a wide range of textile products.
Tajikistan also has large reserves of precious and semiprecious stones, and is a rich country in various other mineral and natural resources.
Q: The traditional Korean martial art, Taekwondo, is very famous in many countries of the world. Do you have it also in Tajikistan?
A: Taekwondo is very famous in Tajikistan. We have many world champions of Taekwondo in our country. There also are many Korean trainers of Taekwondo in Tajikistan.
Q: Most countries diplomatically represented in Korea have honorary consuls. How about Tajikistan?
A: Tajikistan also has a Korean honorary consul, Mr. Yang Hee Kwon, who is the chairman of Pelicana. Through him and other people who are friendly with our country, we introduce our country more widely to the people of Korea.
Mr. Yang visited Tajikistan last October, and I trust that he may have some good comments about Tajikistan.