Spain marks anniversary of ties with Korea
Ambassador and Mrs. Luis Arias-Romero of Spain hosted a reception at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Oct. 11, 2013 to celebrate the 63rd anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and Spain.
There were many distinguished guests from Korean society and from the Seoul Diplomatic Corps and other segments of foreign community in Korea. Attendance from the SDC and other segments of foreign community was also very large.
Among the Korean guests were Vice Minister Cho Tae-yul of Foreign Affairs, President Chul Park of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS) and Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post. President Park Chul of HUFS is a Korean authority on Spain and a permanent member of the Academy of Spain.Speaking to the guests, Ambassador Luis Arias-Romero of Spain said in part: “During this time frame, the mutual interest between Spain and Korea continued increasing significantly, following a trend that is becoming apparent throughout the last five years.”
Excerpts from the speech follow:
I would like to welcome all of you on the occasion of the National Day of Spain in Seoul.
The year that is about to come to an end, marks the 63rd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Spain and the Republic of Korea, and it will conclude with a significant enrichment of our bilateral relations from a political, cultural as well as economic viewpoint.
During this time frame, the mutual interest between Spain and Korea continued increasing significantly, following a trend that is becoming apparent throughout last five years. So far this year, more than 250 Spanish companies have visited Korea, and our exports have increased by 30%.
Furthermore, Korean tourism figures to Spain will conclude with about 200.000 tourists this year.
This is a considerable increase, especially when taking into consideration that only 10 years ago the number of tourists barely exceeded 10.000.
Over the last 12 months, Spain has overcome the recession showing increasingly positive growth figures. Foreign investment returns significantly. However, as the President of our Government recently recalled Wall Street Journal, there is still a long way to go - to overcome the effects of the crisis - and we are definitively working with the determination and faith in ourselves for which we are renowned.
When celebrating our National Day on October 12th, we are commemorating October 12th, 1492. It is the day when Europe through Spain knew America, and America knew Europe. It is the day when we all realized that the world and reality is something built on a daily basis, if we choose to find new solutions to solve old problems.
Thus, when we celebrate the National Day of Spain anywhere in the world, we are celebrating the historical capability of our country to move forward, regardless of the challenges we have to face as a nation and as a society.
Last December 19th, Presidential elections were held in the Republic of Korea. President Park Geun-Hye was proclaimed on February 25th, opening a new chapter in the young but vibrant democracy of this country. Spain, its people and Government fully share its goals of peace, unity, social justice, progress and prosperity, hence, we will always understand, support and cooperate for achieving them.
On their behalf and on my own, I would like to propose a toast to President Park and to His Majesty the King of Spain, and in particular to the well-being of the people of Spain and Korea. k