Ambassador Grecia Picardo Polanco of the Dominican Republic and Mr. Victor Decamps (her spouse) hosted a luncheon reception at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Feb. 27, 2014 in Seoul to celebrate the 170th anniversary of the National Independence of their country.
An estimated 400 distinguished guests came from the government and various other segments of the Korean society as well as from the international community, especially the Seoul Diplomatic Corps.
Among the Korean guests were Deputy Director General Eun-Chul Lee of the Latin American and Caribbean Affairs Bureau, Executive Director Kang Sung-Zu of the Korean Council on Latin America and Caribbean, Korean Honorary Consul General Jun Byung-Hyun of the Dominican Republic (concurrently CEO of Willbes), Director General Hong Sung-Sam of the Foreign Affairs Division of the Korean National Police Agency, Vice President Kim Sun-Wook of Sungsil University, Director Choi Jung-Suh of the American Affairs Office of the Korea International Trade Association, Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post, Chairman Tongsun Park of Parkinton International, CMO John Hwang of Regen Power, and President Kim Choong-Do of Andre Kim Fashion Design Atelier.
From the SDC came many mission chiefs who included Ambassadors Hocine Sahraoui of Algeria, Albino Malungo of Angola, Jorge Roballo of Argentina, Elisabeth Bertagnoli of Austria, Mr. Ramzi Teymurov of Azerbaijan, Natallia Jhylevich of Belarus, Guadalupe Palomeque de Taboada of Bolivia, Dato Haji Harun Ismail of Brunei Darussalam, Petar Andonov of Bulgaria, Hernan Brantes Glavic of Chile, Jaime Alberto Cabal Sanclemente of Colombia, Manuel Lopez Trigo of Costa Rica, Sylvestre Kouassi Bile of Cote d'Ivoire, Nicolas Fabian Trujillo Newlin of Ecuador, Hector Gonzalez Urrutia of El Salvador, Dibaba Abdetta (Dr.) of Ethiopia, Carlos Victor Boungou of Gabon, Nikoloz Apkhazava of Georgia, Dionisios Sourvanos of Greece, Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla of Holy See, Michel Idiaquez Baradat of Honduras, Khalil Ismai Abdul Sahib Al-Mosawi of Iraq, Aingeal O’onoghue of Ireland, Uri Gutman of Israel, Khamla Xayachack of Lao Republic, Jad El Hassan of Lebanon, Farhat A. Abdussalm of Libya (CDA), Jose Luis Bernal of Mexico, Kaman Singh Lama of Nepal, Mohamed Salim Alharthy of Oman, Aram Cisneros of Panama, Bill Veri of Papua New Guinea, Ceferino Adrian Valdez Peralta of Paraguay, Krzysztof Majka of Poland, Antonio Quintero Nobre of Portugal, Konstantin V. Vnukov of Russia, Mamadou Ndiaye of Senegal, Peter Tan Hai Chuan of Singapore, Dusan Bella of Slovak Republic, Luis Arias Romero of Spain, Tissa Wijeratne of Sri Lanka, Tajeldin Elhadi Eltahir of Sudan, Mohamed Ali Nafti of Tunisia, Vasyl Marmazov of Ukraine, Dr. Alba Florio Legnani of Uruguay, Alisher Kurmanov of Uzbekistan, Yadira Hidalgo de Ortiz of Venezuela (CDA) and Ying Ping-Liang of the ROC (Representative of the Taipei Mission).
Speaking to the guests, Ambassador Picardo Polanco said: “In 1844, the proclamation of our Independence, realized by a group of patriots inspired by the ideals of Juan Pablo Duarte, permitted our people to preserve its identity and way of life, as well as our distinctive and multi colored vision of the world, a vision which we call ‘ominicanidad’.” (See excerpts at the end of this Article.)
In return to her welcome speech there were congratulatory speeches by Deputy Director General Lee of MOFA and Ambassador Dato Haji Harun Ismail of Brunei Darussalam, both congratulated Ambassador Picardo Polanco on the auspicious day of the Dominican Republic.
Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Picardo Polanco:
Good Afternoon, (A-ni-yong-ha-shim-nika)
I would like to begin this celebration by expressing my sincere appreciation to all of you for taking time out of your busy schedules and joining us on the 170th Anniversary of our National Independence.
In 1844, the proclamation of our Independence, realized by a group of patriots inspired by the ideals of Juan Pablo Duarte, permitted our people to preserve its identity and way of life, as well as our distinctive and multi colored vision of the world, a vision which we call “Dominicanidad.”
The Dominican Republic, located on the island of Hispaniola, in the heart of the Caribbean, is on the crossroads between the markets of North, Central and South America, offering our country geographical advantages that coupled with our modern and efficient and infrastructure, has allowed us to become the main receiver of direct foreign investment in the Caribbean region.
Our country counts on Free Trade Agreements with the United States of America and Central American countries (DR-CAFTA), and with preferential trade agreements with the European Union and CARICOM, allowing direct access to more than 790 million consumers worldwide. We are also a full-fledged member of the System for the Integration of Central America (SICA), and this year, precisely, we are occupying SICA’s Pro-Tempore presidency.
With the goal of continuing to efficiently deepen the bilateral relations between the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Korea, we have expanded cooperation in areas much further than trade and investment, allowing for the successful development and execution of joint programs and projects between both countries.
In that sense, the Dominican Government is very satisfied with the prospect of inauguration a regional KOICA office in the Dominican Republic. This important decision shows the solid levels of bilateral cooperation reached by our countries during the last decade, and manifests the mutual commitment to the continual enhancement of ties and collaboration in different sectors.
One of the most significant joint projects is the Knowledge Sharing Program between the Dominican Center for Export & Investment Promotion (CEI-RD) and the Korea Development Institute (KDI); widely considered as an international benchmark for its impeccable implementation and social/institutional impact. The KSP is now entering its sixth phase and is focused on the development of a financial institution that will serve to promote export credit capacity and industrial competitiveness in the Dominican Republic. In this regard, we are pleased to share that President Danilo Medina has recently publicly announced his full support to this initiative aimed at launching the Dominican Exporter Bank through the course of this year.
Moreover, we continue supporting and expanding on other key initiatives in terms of science and technology, such as the e-Learning Program, and especially the ongoing project with the Ministry of Public Security and Administration of Korea, directed at modernizing our e-government network, which has already yielded extraordinary results, including the establishment of a state of the art Information Access Center in Santo Domingo, made possible thanks to the generous support from the Government of the Republic of Korea.
This year, our Government is making active efforts to attract more Korean direct investment. As a testimony of this determination, earlier this month, the “2014 Dominican Republic Investment Forum” took place, and on June 17th of this year, we will hold the First Dominican Trade & Investment Forum; titled “Business Opportunities in Free Zones of the Dominican Republic.”
I would like to conclude my brief intervention by recognizing and expressing my deepest appreciation to the Korean government for all of the help, collaboration, and support it has offered our country, and our Mission in particular, in its honorable and tireless daily efforts and contributions to the betterment bilateral relations.
Once again, I would like to take you for joining us on such a significant date for the Dominican Republic.