By Vice Chairperson Joy Cho
Madam Flavia Athena Kloose, spouse of the former ambassador of Romania in Seoul, is a very special person for Korea as much as her husband, Ambassador Mihail Ciompec. She is very fond of Korea, especially the Korean culture and history.
She makes it sure to attend all the tours organized by The Korea Post media to the local cultures and tourist sites for the promotion of relations, cooperation and friendship between her country of Romania in Seoul and Korea.
Romania is located at the crossroads of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe and has a strategic position (from a geo-economic perspective), linking Central Europe with Caucasus and Turkey. Also, Romania is the largest country in the Balkan area, with a territory of 238,397㎢, which is 1.1 times larger than the Korean Peninsula.
Moreover, Romania’s location is important in terms of transportation and logistics between Central and Eastern Europe, via the Black Sea and Danube water corridor.
Since the establishment of their diplomatic relations in March 1990, the Republic of Korea and Romania have focused on strengthening cooperation in the fields of politics, diplomacy, economy, trade, culture, education, science, technology and so on. In this regard, the two countries concluded a Strategic Partnership in September 2008, while in July 2010, they established a Joint Action Plan for implementing this Partnership.
The trade volume between the two states increased from 18.6 million US dollars in 1990 (the establishment of their diplomatic relations) to 1.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. The economic cooperation between Korea and Romania is expected to grow in various fields, such as energy, ICT, health, medicine, agriculture etc.
Since the establishment of relations only 25 years before, the diplomatic relations continue to grow deeper and wider, based on an enhanced mutual interest, which is visible in frequent high-level and working-level official visits, and in direct exchanges between academic and cultural communities in both countries.
According to the Embassy of Romania in Seoul, Korea is a strategic partner, with which the two countries share many common values such as democracy, human rights, the rule of law and open market economy.
In its turn, Korea regards Romania as an important partner, both given the significant potential of our bilateral relations, especially in the economic field, as well as given the fact that our country is a member of the European Union, and the strategic dialogue between EU and South Korea has been constantly expanding to the point that, for example, the two parts signed in 2010 a bilateral free-trade agreement.
Since the official establishment in 1990, the relations between Romania and Korea have been significantly enhanced. At present, Korea is one of the strategic partners of Romania in Asia-Pacific, the first country in the region with which we upgraded our relations to a strategic level.
Since the official initiation, the bilateral relations have been significantly enhanced. At present, Korea is one of the strategic partners of Romania in Asia-Pacific, the first country in the region with which we upgraded our relations to a strategic level.
The main landmarks of the recent historic streamline are the following: the signing of the Joint Declaration on the Establishment of the Bilateral Strategic Partnership (during the official visit to Korea of the President of Romania September 2008), completed in 2010 by the Joint Plan of Action for the implementation of the partnership; the launch of the governmental cooperation program in the field of education and culture (September 2008); Romania’s participation in Yeosu World Expo 2012 with a pavilion dedicated to the Danube Delta that attracted more than 800.000 visitors; Romania’s participation at the level of Head of State to the Nuclear Security Summit (Seoul 2012), an additional occasion to reiterate our commitments regarding the Romania-Korean cooperation within various multilateral frameworks.
Regarding the economic bilateral relations, there has been a constant increase in the overall volume of trade, reaching the 1 billion USD, as of 2011. However, the untapped estimated potential is still high. Romania is therefore concentrating its efforts on bringing this potential to fruition and on balancing the trade flux, by promoting the Romanian products and the opportunities for foreign investments in our country.
One of the most dynamic fields of bilateral relations is the cultural exchanges and the people-to-people contacts. The two countries offer mutual scholarships on an annual basis, and in addition there is an ever-expanding number of universities that establish sister-ship relations, especially between linguistic departments in both countries (such relations exist between Hankuk International Studies University of Seoul and respectively three Romanian universities, i.e. the University of Bucharest, Iaşi University and Babeş-Bolyai University of Cluj.