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“President Cartes of Paraguay offers warm congratulations, wishes success to President Moon Jae-in”Amb. Silvero of Paraguay says at Paraguayan National Day reception

Ambassador Raul Silvero of the Republic of Paraguay in Seoul said, “I would like to mention that the President of the Republic of Paraguay Horacio Cartes offered on behalf of the Government and the people of Paraguay the sincerest congratulations and wishes of the greatest success to President Moon Jae-In, and wished to further deepen the ties of friendship and cooperation.”

Ambassador Raul Silvero Silvagni of Paraguay, 8th from left, front row, is joined by all the ambassadors in cutting the celebration cakes at a reception marking the National Day of Paraguay.

Speaking at a reception he hosted at the Millennium Seoul Hilton last night (May 15, 2017) in celebration of the 206th anniversary of Paraguayan Independence and 55th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and Paraguay, Ambassador Silvero then stated: “Friendly relations between Paraguay and Korea have not only been strengthened throughout the last five decades, but they have also reached maturity in various manifestations. In this regard, I would like to emphasize the permanent support that Paraguay has demonstrated and continues to demonstrate to the Republic of Korea in various international forums as a natural expression of solidarity between two nations that share common values and interest. In this regard, the Government of Paraguay condemns the missile and nuclear tests that threaten stability on the Korean Peninsula.” (See excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Silvero toward the end of this report.)

Mrs. Irineo Raul Silvero Silvagni (spouse of the ambassador of Paraguay) and Mrs. Nehal Hanna (spouse of the ambassador of Egypt and chairpersons of the Association of the Spouses of the Ambassadors in Seoul), 5th and 6th, from left, respectively cut the National Day celebration cakes of Paraguay with the spouses of other ambassadors.

Ambassador Silvero’s welcome address was followed by a congratulatory speech by Director General Huh Tae-wan of the Latin American & Caribbean Affairs Bureau of MOFA, who said in part: “We know the country as the world’s 6th largest producer of soy, the 6th largest exporter of beef with agricultural potential that the vast flatland covers more than half of its national territory. In contrast to this generalized perception, what I saw in Asuncion last month were the modern skyscrapers and new shopping centers, showing the dynamic development and progress of the country.

Ambassador and Mrs. Raul Silvero Silvagni of Paraguay, Director-General Huh Tae-wan of Latin American & Caribbean Affairs Bureau of MOFA and Vice President Choi Sung-ho of KOICA for Projects & Regional Coordination.

I witnessed with my own eyes the great potential of Paraguay, the nation that is growing more rapidly in the region with 5% of an average economic growth over the past decade.” (See excerpts from his speech after that of the ambassador’s)

The third speaker was Director Choi Sung-Ho of KOICA, who offered a toast message. He said in part: “KOICA values our strong partnership with Paraguay and we are committed to advancing our shared interests, including meeting to achieve Sustainable Development Goals, expanding basic needs for health care and trade economic

Ambassador Silvero Silvagni of Paraguay, fourth from left, poses with important Korean guests at the reception.

opportunities through implementing our development cooperation programs according to Plan Nacional de Desarrollo Paraguay 2014-2030.” (See further details at the end of this report.)

The reception was attended by many distinguished guests from the Korean government and various other segments of Korean society as well as the Seoul Diplomatic Corps and other international organizations.

Ambassador Raul Silvero Silvagni of Paraguay, third from left, foreground, stands at attention with important guests at the presentation of National Anthems of the Paraguay and Korea at the opening of the National Day reception of Paraguay at the Millennium Seoul Hilton Hotel on May 15, 2017. At far right is The Korea Post Reporter Kim Sung-min who is examining the pictures he has just taken to make sure he caught the scenes right. Nowadays pictures speak louder than words.

Among the Korean guests in attendance were Director-General Huh Tae-wan of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Latin American & Caribbean Affairs Bureau, Vice President Choi Sung-ho of KOICA for Projects & Regional Coordination, President & CEO Kang Young-gil of Ilsung Construction, Director Kang Sung-zu of the Korean Council on Latin America & the Caribbean Affairs (former Korean ambassador to the Dominican Republic), Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media (with Vice Chairman Choe Nam-suk and Editor Linda Youn of the Korean-language edition of The Korea Post).

From left: Chairperson Ryoo Hyun-mi of the World Association for Food Culture Exchange (WAFCE), Mrs. Conganella, Director Francesco Canganella of the Institute of Science and Technology of Italy in Seoul, Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media and Secretary General Park Yang-sook of WAFCE.

There also was Chairperson Ryoo Hyun-mi of the Korean Food Culture Association who hosts a large Korean Food Festival at the Gwanghwamun Square on May 30, 2017.

Attendance from the Seoul Diplomatic Corps was also very large, and included Ambassadors Albino Malungo of Angola, Jorge Roballo of Argentina, Ramzi Teymurov of Azerbaijan, Luis Fernando de Andrade Serra of Brazil, Dato Mohd Rosli Sabtu of Brunei Darussalam , Petar Andonov of Bulgaria, Tito Saul Pinilla Pinilla of Colombia, Rodolfo Solano Quiros of Costa Rica, Sylvestre Kouassi Bile of Cote d'Ivoire, Grecia Fiodalicia Pichardo of Dominican Republic, Oscar Gustavo Herrera Gilbert of Ecuador, Hany Moawad Selim Labib of Egypt, Shiferaw Jarso Tedecha of Ethiopia, Gerhard Sabathil of Delegation of The European Union, Mohamed Abdi Gello of Kenya, Bruno Figueroa of Mexico, Ganbold Baasanjav of Mongolia, Irineo Raul Silvero Silvagni of Paraguay, Mamadou Ndiaye of Senegal, Nozuko Gloria Bam of South Africa, Gonzalo Ortiz Diaz-Tortosa of Spain, Mohamed Ali Nafti of Tunisia, and Ms. Yadira Coromoto Hidalgo de Ortiz of Venezuela (CDA).

Ambassador and Mrs. Raul Silvero of Paraguay (third from left) poses with, from right, Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media, Secretary General Ms. Park Yang-sook of WAFCE and Editor Linda Youn of the Korean-language newspaper of The Korea Post. At far left, is Chairman Person Ryoo Hyun-mi of the

Excerpts from the welcome speech of Ambassador Silvero:

In the year of the 206th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Paraguay, we’d like to pay tribute to our brave ancestors from whom we have inherited our great homeland; unique in its essence, product of the Spanish and Guarani alliance, from whom we have inherited our official languages.

This year is a special one, as we celebrate 55 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Paraguay and the Republic of Korea, whom we congratulate for the presidential elections. In this occasion, I would like to mention that the President of the Republic of Paraguay Horacio Cartes, offered on behalf of the Government and the people of Paraguay the sincerest congratulations and wishes of the greatest success to President Moon Jae-In, wishing to further deepen the ties of friendship and cooperation.

Friendly relations with the Republic of Korea have not only been strengthened throughout the last five decades, but they have also reached maturity in various manifestations. In this regard, I would like to emphasize the permanent support that Paraguay has demonstrated and continues to demonstrate to the Republic of Korea in various international forums as a natural expression of solidarity between two nations that share common values and interests. In this regard, the Government of Paraguay condemns the missile and nuclear tests that threaten stability in the Korean Peninsula. The Republic of Korea has been historically a strategic ally of my country, and as a proof of this friendship, its support was key for Paraguay to become a member of the OECD Development Center. One of the important achievements of Paraguayan foreign policy.

President Kang Young-gil of Ilsung Construction (left) poses with Vice Chairman Choi Nam-suk of The Korea Post media.

Although the bonds that unite us with Korea are defined by its robustness, at present this has become even more obvious. Since the assumption of President Horacio Cartes, we have worked very hard to play a more active and leading role in the international community, engaging in stronger bilateral and multilateral relations to face the challenges of our own development, such as the reduction of poverty, the creation of jobs, and technological development.

Having said that, I take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the Government and people of Korea for their constant cooperation that represents a source of valuable support for our advancement in the path of progress and well-being.

In addition to political and cooperation ties, the trade pillar represents a significant milestone of this relationship. Even though trade had increased throughout the years, there is an immense potential for business that can only be seized through joint efforts from the public and private sectors. Today, Paraguayan companies offer Korean consumers products of the rich Guarani land, such as stevia, a natural sweetener, yerba mate, chia, sesame, meat products, charcoal, soybeans and derivatives, leather, among other products.

Paraguay recorded a great economic performance in the last years due to increase of its industrial and agricultural production, significant Government investment in infrastructure, and macroeconomic stability. Being one of the most open economies and of greater return to investments, we invite Korean and other Asian entrepreneurs to discover the investment opportunities offered by my country. There are many comparative advantages such as a young and skilled workforce, fertile land -watered by a large reserve of fresh water that makes Paraguay one of the largest food and renewable energy producers in the world- among. Besides the inherent qualities of its demographic composition and geography, the investment climate is favored by incentive and protection laws, in addition to tariff and non-tariff advantages for market access to Mercosur member countries, Latin American Association of Integration block, and the European Union through the Generalized Scheme of Preference-PLUS.

As a country without maritime coasts, Paraguay faces specific challenges that are characteristic of this geographical condition. As part of a broader strategy, a policy of diversification of its international relations has been put into practice from 2013, seeking to strengthen its presence and role in Asian countries and the Pacific Rim, recognizing the strategic importance of this region worldwide.

I would like to refer to the cultural aspect as an essential vehicle for understanding different nations and bringing them together. In this aspect of our relation, we are committed along with Korean Institutions in different projects that will allow further strengthening friendship bonds between our peoples. This leads me to mention that the first Korean migrants arrived in Paraguay 52 years ago, today fully integrated to the Paraguayan society. Also, I would like to mention the 100th Anniversary of the birth of the great Paraguayan writer Augusto Roa Bastos, who was awarded the Cervantes Prize, the most important distinction in Spanish language literature, in 1989. To render honors to the most respected national author, we are carrying out various acts of commemoration to share his works and life with everyone.

In our vision, it is not possible to achieve the aforementioned goals without giving a relevant role to the state of law, respect for human rights and a political system based on democracy. These are State virtues that must go together with judicial stability and respect to foreign and domestic investments, fundamental axes of the current Government state policy.

Finally, I would like to extend a fraternal and cordial greeting to the dear compatriots resident in Korea, Singapore, and other Asian countries, where they collaborate with their efforts and knowledge to the development of these Nations. Paraguay awaits their return with open arms to share a country with greater welfare and happiness and, of course, we give the warmest welcome to all those who wish to reside in our country.

I take this opportunity to congratulate all mothers in their day, as we celebrate their day in Paraguay and in several countries, and for Teacher's Day in Korea.

Know that the Embassy of the Republic of Paraguay people will find a human team prepared and determined to carry out its functions in the best way, giving special attention to the promotion and support to the its nationals and Korean citizens interested in establishing social, economic and cultural ties with Paraguay. Muchas Gracias.

One of the traditional Paraguayan dancers presented some of the unique Paraguayan dances, unlike at other diplomatic functions, considerably attracted the attention of the guests for their beautiful performances.

Congratulatory message by Director General Heo Tae-Wan of MOFA:

It is a great pleasure for me to attend this important event that commemorates the 206th Anniversary of the National Independence of Paraguay. I would like to convey to the people and the Government of Paraguay congratulations and the affection of our government.

Last April I had the privilege of visiting the city of Asunción, capital of Paraguay as head of delegation of the 6th Korea-Paraguay Joint Meeting. Paraguay, known as the heart of South America, is one of the most distant countries that take 30 hours by plane from Seoul.

We know the country as the world 6th producer of soy, the 6th exporter of beef with agricultural potential that the vast flatland covers more than half of its national territory. In contrast to this generalized perception, what I saw in Asuncion last month were the modern skyscrapers and new shopping centers, showing the dynamic development and progress of the country. I witnessed with my own eyes the great potential of Paraguay, the nation that is growing more rapidly in the region with 5% of an average economic growth over the past decade.

Korea has taken note of the aforementioned potential, and constantly strengthening friendship and cooperation with Paraguay. Based on the complementary economic cooperation, exchanges, trade and investment between our two countries have been incremented more and more, while the mutual high-level visits have significantly increased in recent years. Since 2014 until present, we have received eight Ministers from different sectors of the current Paraguayan Government.

On the other hand, both countries are actively promoting various projects of development assistance in areas of transportation, health and agriculture. And the cultural exchanges field is also increasingly intense, thanks to many young Paraguayans fascinated by the K-Pop and K-drama.

Taking advantage of this momentum of cooperation generated in recent times, the two countries are making efforts to diversify areas of cooperation to infrastructure, e-Government and ITCs, as well as forge a relationship projected towards the future.

As you know, the day of May 10, was inaugurated the new Government in Korea. I am aware that the Paraguayan people are also raising their voices of democracy. I hope that our two countries to overcome wisely these historical moments and become close partners to understand and support each other.

I was informed that this year commemorates the Centenary of the birthday of Augusto Roa Bastos, the most prestigious Paraguayan writer and one of the most important novelists of Latin America. I hope that this important year bring a new leap and continuous progress for the people of Paraguay.
Once again, I extend my congratulations on National Holiday of Paraguay, and I would like to propose a toast for the eternal friendship of our two countries.

Toast Message by Choi Sung-Ho, Director of KOICA:

His excellency Mr. Raul Silvero Ambassador of Republic of Paraguay to the Republic of Korea, His excellency Mr. Heo Tae-Wan, Director General of Latin America and Caribbean Affairs Bureau of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea,

On behalf of KOICA, I extend my best wishes to the people of Paraguay as they celebrate 206 anniversary of Independence Day.

KOICA values our strong partnership with Paraguay and we are committed to advancing our shared interests, including meeting to achieve SDGs(Sustainable Development Goals), expanding basic needs for health care and trade economic opportunities through implementing our development cooperation programs according to Plan Nacional de Desarrollo (PND) Paraguay 2014-2030.

In this regards, may I propose to toast for celebrating Paraguay’s Independence Day.

From the Chaco to Encarnacion, From the Rio Paraguay to Rio Parana

Patria querida, Los cumbreños. Salud!

Sean Kim  edt@koreapost.com

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