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‘Uzbekistan has achieved development in 26 years equal to those of centuries’Says Amb. Vitaly Fen of Uzbekistan at National Day reception

Ambassador Vitaliy Fen of the Republic of Uzbekistan indicated that in the past 26 years of independence, Uzbekistan has made achievements equal to those of centuries. In that period, he said, the appearance of our cities and villages, the entire country as a whole, has radically changed. Ambassador Fen made the revelation at a reception he and Mrs. Fen hosted at the Crystal Ballroom of the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Sept. 1, 2017 in celebration of the 26th anniversary of Uzbek Independence and the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and Uzbekistan.

Ambassador Vitali Fen of Uzbekistan (third from right) cuts celebration cake with guests. They are, from left: Seoul Metropolitan Government International Ambassador Kim Chang beom for the United Nations, an unidentified guest, Chairman Kim Youn-sik of Shindong Enercom, an unidentified lady, Rep. Bin Jae Il (chairman of Korea-Uzbekistan Inter-parliamentary Friendship Association of the National Assembly, an unidentified guest, Ambassador Fen, Chairman Hong Yeong-ui of Daesung Foundation, and Special Representative Kim Hong-kyun for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Then he said, “Today, Uzbekistan is a dynamically developing democratic state, a modern country, the authority of which in the international arena is growing every year, while our intellectual and economic potential is increasing.” The reception was attended by an unusually large number of VIP guests from all walks of life in Korean society as well as the international community, the Seoul Diplomatic Corps in particular. One guest said, “Wow, I have never seen such a well-attended diplomatic function. I would say over a thousand guests are here!” (See excerpts from the speech toward the end of this article.)

It was also a very well attended National Day reception. The guests included Special Representative Kim Hong-kyun for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chairman Botir Parpiev of the state Tax Committee of Uzbekistan, President Choue Chung-won of World Taekwondo Federation, Chairman Bin Jae-il of Korea-Uzbekistan Inter-parliamentary Friendship Association, Chairman Kim Yun-seek of Korea-Uzbekistan Friendship Association and Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media.

Ambassador Vitali Fen of Uzbekistan speaks to the guests

Attendance from the Seoul Diplomatic Corps and other segments of international community in Korea was also very large. Among the foreign mission chiefs in attendance were Ambassadors Alexander Timonin of Russia, Petar Andonov of Bulgaria, Andrei Popkov of Belarus, Niroshani Manisha Dias Abeywickrema Gunasekera of Sri Lanka and other.

Ambassador Fen enjoys a wide range of close friendship and acquaintance with representatives of various segments of Korean society as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other offices of the government, including the Presidential Office of Cheong Wa Dae. Naturally, there were warm congratulatory messages from them to celebrate the most auspicious occasions for the two countries.

Kim Hong-kyun, Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace

Speaking on behalf of the Korean government at the reception, Special Representative Kim Hong-kyun for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs said, “I understand that His Excellency President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of the Republic of Uzbekistan has been enthusiastically pursuing reforms and reaching out to the people since taking office last year and I am confident that through these efforts and the leadership of President Mirziyoyev, Uzbekistan will achieve even greater development of the nation and a higher standing in the international community.” (See excerpts from his speech after that of Ambassador Fen.)

Special Representative Kim’s message was followed by another one by Rep.

Bin Jae Il, Chairman of the Korea-Uzbekistan Inter-parliamentary Friendship Association.

Byun Jae-il who headed the Korea-Uzbekistan Parliamentary Group

He said: “It is my hope that our mutually beneficial relationship will be further promoted in multiple fields through large-scale projects that we have pursued with great success so far, namely the construction of the e-government system and the Surgil gas field project. Furthermore, I believe the upcoming visit to Uzbekistan by Speaker Chung Sye-kyun of the National Assembly of Korea in September will reinforce our cooperative relationship a step further. As president of the Korea-Uzbekistan Parliamentary Friendship Group, I offer my word to devote my best efforts in providing cooperation and support for the benefit of the two countries.” (See excerpts from the speech at the end of this report.)

There were interesting cultural performances by the Uzbek performing artists presenting music and dances, which were accorded enthusiastic applause from the guests.

From left: Ambassador Vitali Fen of Uzbekistan, Madam` Lyudmila Fen, Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media and Chairman Kim Yong-ku of the Shindong Resources.

Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Vitali Fen:

First of all, let me express my sincere gratitude to all the guests for participating in today’s solemn event on the occasion of the Independence Day of the Republic of Uzbekistan. In twenty-six years of independent development, Uzbekistan has passed a path equal to centuries. In the period of independence, the appearance of our cities and villages, the entire country as a whole, has radically changed. Today, Uzbekistan is an equal member of the world community, a dynamically developing legal democratic state, a modern country, the authority of which in the international arena is growing every year, intellectual and economic potential is increasing.

Due to the extremely large number of VIP guests attending the National Day reception of Uzbekistan, two celebration cakes were prepared so that all the VIP guests could join the celebration cake-cutting. From left: Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media, Chairman Kim Young-koo Shindong Resources, Madam Ludmila Fen (spouse of the Uzbek ambassador), and two other guests`.

The Republic of Korea is one of the most reliable and time-tested partners of Uzbekistan. The relationship between our states is consistently developing in all directions due to the regular nature of the dialogue at the highest level and common interests. I especially want to note that this year we are widely celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, which will be marked by the planned state visit of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the Republic of Korea. I am convinced that the meetings at the highest level will give new impetus to further deepening of the strategic partnership between our countries. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992, relations between our countries have acquired a strategic character, covering such spheres as automobile industry, mining, chemical, light and food industries, agriculture, information technologies and telecommunications, medicine, tourism, science, culture, etc. In the sphere of trade between Uzbekistan and Korea, the most favored nation treatment is operating.

The Korea Post media published two special reports, one in the main edition (right) and the other in a supplement edition.

Korea has traditionally been a leading investment and technology partner in implementation of priority programs on diversifying and modernizing industry and infrastructure in Uzbekistan.

Dozens of major projects have been implemented and are being implemented in various sectors of the economy, attracting investments of leading South Korean companies and banks for more than 10 billion dollars.

The number of enterprises with participation of South Korean capital in Uzbekistan has reached 500, including 75 with 100% Korean capital.

An important role is played by inter parliamentary cooperation, which is of a constructive nature and promotes the development of relations between our countries.

A music band with traditional musical instruments of Uzbekistan who presented Uzbek music in front of the entrance to the venue to create a festive mood. Stand second from left is a staff member of the Embassy of Uzbekistan`who spoke impeccable Korean and English with a refined manner attendance to help both Korean and international guests.

Further strengthening of cooperation between the two countries is facilitated by consistently developing cultural and humanitarian ties. Uzbek people are familiar with Korean culture, not by hearsay. In 2017 exactly 80 years have passed since the day of resettlement of Koreans from the Far East to Uzbekistan, which became the “second homeland” for many natives from the Republic of Korea.

Today, higher educational institutions of Uzbekistan are cooperating with more than 30 universities of South Korea. Departments of Uzbek language are established in the South Korean universities of foreign languages in Busan and Daegu.

Korean language is being taught at Uzbekistan State University of World Languages, Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies and Samarkand State Institute of Foreign Languages. Successful activity of INHA University in Tashkent is a vivid example of prospects of partnership in the sphere of education.

Ice logo work with the emblem ice work of Uzbekistan flanked on the right by the Korean national flag on the right and the Uzbek national flags on the left.

Close ties have been established at the municipal level, within the framework of which there are agreements on cooperation between Tashkent and Seoul, Fergana and Yongin, Namangan and Seongnam, Samarkand and Gyeongju, Tashkent region and Gyeongsangbuk-do province.

According to the UN studies, the Republic of Korea is one of the leaders of the world rating in the field of “e-government” implementation. About 50 years ago, having begun to implement relevant projects, South Korea simultaneously carried out administrative reforms and modernization of public administration, which became the guarantor of the effectiveness of the “e-government” system. In the Republic of Korea, the “smart government” strategy is currently being implemented. We are interested in developing cooperation in this sphere.

Dear guests!

I take this opportunity to sincerely congratulate people of Uzbekistan and South Korea on the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. They can be proud of the dynamics of development of relations between our countries. I hope for their further strengthening in the future.

Thank you for attention.

Excerpts from the congratulatory speech of Special Representative Kim Hong-kyun:

It is a great honor and pleasure to be here tonight on behalf of the government and people of Korea to celebrate the 26th anniversary of Uzbekistan’s Independence Day.

Since attaining independence in 1991, Uzbekistan has experienced astonishing national development across all fields of politics, foreign relations, economy and society on the basis of strong national unity.

Furthermore, Uzbekistan has demonstrated that it is a responsible member of the international community by making efforts to ensure the stability and common prosperity of the region. Uzbekistan’s leading role in establishing a nuclear free zone in Central Asia and its steadfast support for strengthening the global non-proliferation regime are prime examples.

Yet, contrary to the regional peace and development of Central Asia spearheaded by responsible nations like Uzbekistan, tensions continue to grow on the Korean Peninsula due to North Korea’s repeated provocations.

As the international community urges North Korea to abide by its denuclearization obligations and refrain from raising tensions, I hope Uzbekistan’s example of achieving peace and prosperity will resonate with North Korea.

I understand that His Excellency, President Mirziyoyev has been enthusiastically pursuing reforms and reaching out to the people since taking office last year.

I am confident that through these efforts and the leadership of President Mirziyoyev, Uzbekistan will achieve even greater development of the nation and a higher standing in the international community.

This year also marks the 25th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Korea and Uzbekistan. Over the last quarter century, our two countries have built an intimate relationship of friendship and cooperation.

I believe the most valuable asset in our bilateral relationship is the trust that we have nurtured. And now, based on this trust, we are realizing concrete cooperation in various areas.

Ambassador and Mrs. Fen of Uzbekistan (14th and 15th from left) pose with members of the Embassy of Uzbekistan and some of the Uzbek diaspora in Korea.

The Surgil project, our landmark bilateral economic cooperation project, was completed in May of last year and has become a new model of economic cooperation that pursues joint production and export of high value-added products.

Furthermore, our two countries continue to expand the horizon of cooperation from the traditional areas of energy, resources and infrastructure development into many new fields of IT, e-government, finance, development cooperation and health.

I believe there is a sense of familiarity and friendliness between the people of Korea and Uzbekistan which comes from an age-old history of exchanges, cultural intimacy and similar national character. This is the foundation on which we have become vital partners and on which we will further expand our cooperation.

Once again, I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations on the 26th Independence Day of Uzbekistan and I hope that our two countries will continue to strengthen our mutually beneficial relationship as old friends and strategic partners.

Excerpts from the speech of President Byun Jae-il of Korea-Ubekistan Parliamentary Group:

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the settlement of ethnic Koreans in Central Asia, who have had to overcome a tumultuous period in history and today, are writing a new chapter in history filled with pride. This year also celebrates the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and Uzbekistan.

For 25 years since our two countries established diplomatic relations in 1992, we have continuously developed our strategic partnership in various fronts, including politics, economy, culture, and education.

With the opening of the Korean embassy in Uzbekistan in 1993 and the Uzbekistan embassy in Korea in 1995, our leaders have strengthened our relationship by paying mutual visits and we have always stood by each other’s positions in the international arena.

The trade volume between our two countries is verification that our exchange is based on unwavering mutual trust. The bilateral trade volume which stood at 188 million dollars in 2002 has recorded higher growth rates every year to exceed 2 billion dollars for the first time in 2014.

As such, Korea and Uzbekistan have acted as mutually complementary economic cooperation partners: Korea as a major model of economic growth for Uzbekistan, and Uzbekistan as the country with the greatest number of investments by Korean companies among CIS member countries.

It is my hope that our mutually beneficial relationship will be further promoted in multiple fields through large-scale projects that we have pursued with great success so far, namely the construction of the e-government system and the Surgil gas field project.

Furthermore, I believe the upcoming visit to Uzbekistan by His Excellency, Chung Sye-kyun, Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, in September will reinforce our cooperative relationship a step further. As President of the Korea-Uzbekistan Parliamentary Friendship Group, I offer my word to devote my best efforts in providing cooperation and support.

Based on the long-standing close friendship between our two countries, I hope we will continue to cooperate in a wide range of fields. Once again, I offer you my sincere congratulations on the 26th Anniversary of Independence Day of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Sean Kim  edt@koreapost.com

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