Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on Wednesday promised South Korea's continued development cooperation with African countries.
"Beyond the political importance of Africa as a continent of more than a quarter of all sovereign countries in the world, Korea views Africa as a valuable partner in development and economic cooperation," Kang said in her opening speech to the Korea-Africa Business Forum.
Having turned from a war-ravaged country into a vibrant democracy with a thriving market economy, South Korea has "much to offer, as many African countries travel their own roads to economic and social development," the minister noted.
She noted that Korea has been organizing the Korea-Africa forum for more than a decade "as a committed, reliable and empathetic partner" in support of Africa's development.
"Korea seeks to help nurture an investment-friendly environment in the region," particularly in areas such as infrastructure, health and education, she said.
"Time and again, it has been pointed out that the lack of information and difficulties in financing are among the major obstacles to promoting Korean trade and investment in Africa," with trade with Africa accounting for only 1.5 percent of Korea's total trade, she said.
Kang emphasized that the forum seeks to address the challenges of doing business in Africa. She added, "It is an excellent chance to share success stories and best practice."
Hwi Won email@example.com
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