How much do Koreans know about Brazil?
How much do Koreans know about Brazil?
  • Hwi Won
  • 승인 2017.09.19 17:42
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Offhand, Brazil has the fifth largest land space in the world, or 39 times that of the Korean peninsula, about 200 million people, and the world’s 7th largest GDP. Brazil also has 22% of the total area of arable land of the entire world, and also various underground natural resources. On top of that, the average age range is 32 years, the youthful prime age of man. So, now we know how important a country Brazil is to Korea.

Ambassador Luis Fernando de Andrade Serra of Brazil speaks to the guests at the 195th anniversary of Independence of Brazil. He said, “Over 50,000 ethnic Koreans live in Brazil contributing to the development of Brazil and promotion of relations, cooperation and friendship between Brazil and Korea.”

Ambassador and Mrs. Luis Fernando de Andrade Serra of Brazil hosted a reception at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Sept. 7, 2017 to celebrate the 195th anniversary of the country, which was attended by many distinguished guests from the Korean government and various other segments of Korean society as well as from the international community, the Seoul Diplomatic Corps in particular.

Speaking to guests at the reception, Ambassador Serra had a lot more to add to the long string of outstanding facts of Brazil. He said, “A total of US$65 billion in foreign direct investments are attracted yearly and, besides, our international monetary reserves have accumulated to US$ 350 billion.”

Another important factor for the Korean people concerning Brazil is over 50,000 Koreans living in Brazil.

Spokesman and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Cho June-hyuck for Public Relations

“These Koreans whom we have embraced since 1963 are working hard for the progress of my country and are the most precious link of friendship without borders.” Then he said, “Many of these pioneers are gracing this event and I salute them from the bottom of my heart.” (See excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Serra of Brazil at the end of this report.)

The reception was attended by many important personalities from Korean society and the international community in Korea.

The international guests included Ambassadors

Your Excellency, Cho June-hyuck, Foreign Ministry Spokesman,

Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Corps,

Distinguished guests,

Dear Friends of Brazil,

First of all, let me thank all of you for your presence at the day Brazil celebrates the 195th anniversary of its Independence.

From left: Ambassadors Hassan Taherian Iran, Adel Mohammad Adaileh of Jordan, Mohammad Saleem Sayeb of Afghanistan, Dato Mohd Rosli Sabtu of Brunei Darussalam, Carlos Victor Boungou of Gabon and Ambassador Md. Zulfiqur Rahman of Bangladesh. At far right is Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language print and on-line and print newspapers and magazines.

This was a process that began actually in 1808 when Napoleon’s armies invaded Portugal and the monarch and his court were transferred to Rio de Janeiro. In 1820, the King of Portugal returned to Lisbon, leaving in Brazil his son as Regent. When Portugal, in 1822, attempted to reassert itself over Brazil, the Crown Prince declared Brazil’s Independence and became Pedro I, Emperor of Brazil. Our beloved monarch was only 23 years old.

Since 1985, Brazil is a vibrant democracy. Yet, since its beginning in 1822, it is a peace-loving country, committed to make prevail the international law and the peaceful ways to solve controversies. Its GDP is today the ninth largest in the world and US$65 billion in foreign direct investments are attracted yearly. Besides, our international monetary reserves have accumulated US$ 350 billion.

Ambassador Luis Fernando de Andrade Serra of Brazil (11th from left, front row) poses with ambassadors of many countries at the 195th Independence anniversary of Brazil at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Sept. 7, 2017. On his right is Spokesman and Deputy Minister Cho June-hyuck of Foreign Affairs for Public Relations and on his left is Ambassadress Grecia Polanco of the Dominican Republic. On her right, or 13th from left, front row (or on the left of Ambassadress Polanco), is Ambassador Vitali Fen of Uzbekistan, former Dean of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps, who served in Korea for 18 years, before his recent assignment back to Korea.

Although diplomatic relations were established in 1959 between our two countries, some years later, exactly fifty five years ago, a ship transporting Korean farmers left the Port of Busan and arrived in Santos in February 1963. After this first arrival many others succeeded and the Korean community in Brazil grew to 50.000 members. These Koreans that we embraced have been working hard for the progress of my country and are the most precious link of this friendship without borders. Many of these pioneers are gracing this event and I salute them from the bottom of my heart.

Photo shows, at right, Mrs. Hyun Jeong-eun, chairperson of the Hyundai Busienss Group, which at one time competed with Samsung Busienss Group for the top place in Korea’s business world. Mrs. Hyun serves as the chairwoman at ADAsan and Hyundai Elevator Co. Ltd. She served as the chairwoman at KB Securities Co., Ltd (formerly Hyundai Securities). She also served as chairperson of the Board of HD Logistics Hyundai Merchant Marine (March 2, 2007 to March 2016. She studied at Ewha Womans University in Seoul and Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. The person on the left will be identified upon receipt of information.

Brazil and Korea have been working together consistently to underscore the strength we draw from our respective democracies, robust economies, regional engagement and global outreach. Besides, Brazil and Korea share a commonality of interests, goals and visions, as reflected in our bilateral ties. Cornerstones of human co-existence like pluralism, multilateralism, religious freedom, gender equality, social inclusion, eco-sustainable practices and rule of law have a permanent presence in our common agenda. Our cooperation in order to face global challenges has been growing from strength to strength.

Ambassador Serra of Brazil (third from left) with the leader of a Brazo;oam Music Troupe who presented a good number of traditional Brazilian songs.

Today is also a special occasion to celebrate the friendship between our two countries, which has been recently strengthened by important events, such as the conclusion of the exploratory dialogue for the negotiations towards a Mercosur-Korea Free Trade Agreement and the creation of the Parliamentary Friendship Group Brazil-Korea within our Senate. One other historic mark of the bilateral relations was the very first mission in Korea by an aircraft of the Brazilian Air Force, an Airbus-Casa C-295, which made a demo flight in Pohang, on the July 18th.

Ambassadors Jorge José Alberto Roballo of Argentina and Hany Selim Labib of Egypt with Mrs. Nehal Hanna Labib (left to right).

Stressing this brotherhood, it is worth mentioning the visit of several important Brazilian authorities this year. Besides two Vice-Governors and the President of the Agency for Industrial Development, Korea has also welcomed in 2017, João Doria, the Mayor of São Paulo, the largest city in Brazil (and the 11th in the world). His official mission here was part of the celebrations of the 40th Anniversary of the sisterhood between Seoul and São Paulo. Additionally, the several meetings he held in this country helped boosting bilateral trade, investments and people-to-people exchanges.

Ambassador Serra of Brazil of Brazil and Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media (second and third from left, respectively) pose with President Kim Hyung-Dae of The Korea Post (right) and Managing Editor Kim Tae-moon of the Korean-language newspaper of The Korea Post. Editor Kim came to cover the event for publication in the Korean-language newspaper of The Korea Post media (

Although there is still much room for expanding bilateral trade and investment flow, Korea was last year our 2nd Asian largest partner and 5th in the world. Korea’s investments in Brazil are growing steadily and the Brazilian presence in this country comprises some corporations that are leaving an imprint in Asia. Many of them are supporting the Embassy tonight. Let me thank them for making this event happen.

On this note, I would like to wish peace and prosperity to the Korean people and long-lasting achievements to the Korea-Brazil partnership. Kamsahamnida!!

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