Governor Kim Kwan-yong of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province hosted the inaugural meeting of the Opinion Leaders’ Committee of Korea on the ‘2017 Ho Chi Minh City-Gyeongju Silk Road Expo’ at the Press Center in Seoul on March 23, 2016 with the attendance of some 50 members of the Committee, including former Speaker Kim Hyong-o of the National Assembly, former Finance Minister Sangong Il, noted Korean novelist Lee Mun-yeol, leading Hanbok Korean Dress Designer Lee Young-hee, Samul Nori troupe leader Kim Deok-soo and Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post.
The meeting heard a report by Governor Kim Kwan-yong on the result of the Silk Road Gyongju Expo 2015 and a promotion report on the next major event, the 2017 Ho Chi Minh City-Gyeongju Expo 2017.
In his report, Governor Kim recited the special remarks made by President Park Geun-hye during her visit to Vietnam on Sept. 8, 2013, who said: “Korea and Vietnam are now ‘in-law’ countries with a total 50,000 Korean-Vietnamese married couples and these relations are so precious and strong as they are family ties.”
Then he said, “We will try to support the government in its effort to materialize the ideals of the EurAsia Initiatives through revitalization of cultural cooperation between Korea and the European-Asian countries as well as Vietnam.”
Governor Kim said that the Ho Chi Minh City-Gyeongju World Expo 2017 is also aimed at further expediting the cultural exchanges between Korea and the Southeast Asian countries to the maximum possible extent through the sea route.
“We will try to form a future-oriented partnership with Vietnam and all the other Silk Road countries for the construction of a 21stCentury New Silk,” Governor Kim said.
Kim’s introductory remarks were followed by detailed work plans of the Ho Chi-Minh City-Gyeongju Silk Road 2017 published by Secretary General Lee Dong-woo of the Committee.
Slated for some 25 days beginning on Nov. 14, 2017, the Ho Chi Minh City-Gyeongju World Culture Expo 2017 will include a Cultural Exchange Exhibition through the ancient sea route at the Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, which will include various interesting events such as K-Pop Concert, a food expo and various Hanllyu exhibitions, hosting of Korean movie and drama festivals and expansion of cultural exchanges through various means including Silk Road University network.
The program also includes linking of the ICT and 3D with the traditional cultures of Korea and the Silk Road countries with an eye to exploring the possibility of industrialization of the good effects of such cultural exchanges.
Why has Vietnam been chosen for the 2017 Gyeongju Expo?
Offhand, 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of formation of diplomatic relations between Korea and Vietnam. Also, the APEC summit meeting is scheduled in Hanoi for November 2017, which will be attended by President Park Geun-hye.
The second reason is that Ho Chi Minh City is convenient in the formation of the cultural network of the Asian Cultural Community, including Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Myanmar.
Still another reason is the continuously improving and expanding environment of economic cooperation between Korea and Vietnam since the formation of the Korea-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement on Dec. 20, 2015. As of June 2015, a total of 3,332 Korean companies are actively engaged in the promotion of economic cooperation between the two countries and have made a total of 4,459 direct investments in Vietnam.
Following Governor Kim’s introductory remarks, Secretary-General Lee Dong-woo of the Expo Committee published a report on the successful result of the Gyeongju Silk Road Expo and the outlook of the new one in 2017 linking Gyeongju and the Ho Chi Mihn City of Vietnam via various countries on the route of the Silk Road.