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Uzbekistan-Korea: The two countries have now opened a new stage of strategic partnershipAddress of Ambassador Vitaliy Fen of Uzbekistan in Seoul to the readers of The Korea Post media

The following are excerpts from the address of Ambassador Vitaliy Fen of Uzbekistan in Seoul to the readers of the The Korea Post media published on the occasion of the 27th Anniversary of Independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the 26th Anniversary of Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Korea and Uzbekistan.--Ed

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan

It is a high privilege for me to address today the esteemed readers of The Korea Post media on the occasions of the 27th Anniversary of Uzbekistan’s independence and 26th Anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations with the Republic of Korea.
After gaining independence, Uzbekistan took a worthy place in the world community. Over the years, a great creative work has been carried out. Human honor and dignity are exalted, well-being of people is ensured, appearance of our cities and villages has radically changed. Due to independence, we gained freedom, revived ancient traditions.

The Joint Statement on comprehensive deepening of relations of the strategic partnership was signed on November 23, 2017 by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and the President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in.

This noble work, taking into account modern requirements, is consistently and systematically being continued by the President of our country Shavkat Mirziyoyev. Uzbekistan is implementing foreign policy based on principles of peace and cooperation, mutual interest, respect and trust, without interference in the internal affairs of other states.
The ideas and initiatives forwarded by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the Action Strategy defined for 2017-2021 are opening wide opportunities for deepening socio-economic reforms, further strengthening trade, economic and investment cooperation with other states.
Today, Uzbekistan is demonstrating a steady pace of development in all spheres under the leadership of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. Effective multilateral foreign policy serves as an important factor of increasing the export potential and expanding economic opportunities of Uzbekistan.

The historical state visit of the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the Republic of Korea was comprehensively fruitful and determined new prospects of mutually beneficial cooperation between two countries.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted that the successive reforms that are being implemented in Uzbekistan are based on the noble idea, according to which people must not serve the Government bodies, rather the Government bodies must serve the people, drawing attention to the fact that it is consonant with the main idea in South Korea ? people are true owners of the state.
The foundation of bilateral relations between our states was laid on December 30, 1991, when the Republic of Korea among the first countries recognized Uzbekistan’s independence. Subsequently, the diplomatic relations were established on January 29, 1992. Ever since our countries have been engaged in vigorous political dialogue. The intensity of close cooperation can be manifested by the fact that over the past 26 years there have been fifteen summit meetings between our heads of state.
Within a short, from historical point of view, period of time our countries have gained enormous experience of mutually beneficial cooperation in political, trade-investment and cultural-humanitarian areas that serves as a solid foundation for further implementation of long-term projects between Uzbekistan and the Republic of Korea.
In general, over the 26 years of diplomatic relations a solid legal basis for bilateral cooperation has been laid which today encompasses more than 300 documents that streamline collaboration in different fields which further diversified Uzbek-Korean relations and filled them with practical content of strategic partnership between the two nations.
In further advancing and deepening bilateral cooperation, regular dialogue between the leaders of the two countries that has become one of the hallmarks of Uzbek-Korean bilateral relations, played an important role.

PresidentMoon Jae-in of Korea and President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan (second and third from right) pose with their First Ladies (Korea on the left and Uzbekistan on the right).

On November 22-24, 2017, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan His Excellency Shavkat Mirziyoyev paid a state visit to the Republic of Korea at the invitation of President Moon Jae-in.
The historical state visit of the President of our country His Excellency Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the Republic of Korea was comprehensively fruitful and determined new prospects of mutually beneficial cooperation between two countries.
Issues of financing large investment projects, further intensification of cooperation in the spheres of economy, energy, finance, investments, high technologies, increasing the trade turnover, expansion of humanitarian ties, strengthening cooperation between ministries and departments were discussed at the highest level negotiations.
Within the framework of the visit, over 60 documents worth more than 10 billion dollars were signed in trade-economic, investment, financial, technical and other spheres. Of these, 4.5 billion dollars are direct investment.
The reached agreements and the signed documents will serve the consistent development of strategic partnership between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Korea, further improving the welfare of our countries and people.
Uzbekistan, as an initiator of establishing the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone, is a strong supporter of Seoul’s aspiration for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The Parties have achieved a notable success in the area of promoting inter-parliamentary cooperation. In 1995, in the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea a Parliamentary Association of Friendship “Korea-Uzbekistan” was founded. In 2005, in the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan a similar group for cooperation with Korea was established. These institutions play an important role in furthering inter-parliamentary collaboration and supporting the overall process of strengthening the bilateral relations.

Ambassador Vitaliy Fen of Uzbekistan in Seoul

Since 1995 Foreign Ministries of the two countries have been on a regular basis holding their political consultations that serves as a good platform for discussing in a frank manner all aspects of bilateral relations and exchanging views on important international and regional issues that are of mutual interest.
Since 2007 a Forum “Republic of Korea-Central Asia” has been annually convened. Its primary purpose to strengthen and expand cooperation in the area of economy, culture, education, tourism as well as to share experiences in the fields of information-telecommunication technology, construction and transportation.
Today Korea is among the most important economic and investment partners of Uzbekistan. Over the past 10 years the trade turnover between the two countries has increased 4 fold while the total volume of the announced Korean investments into the economy of Uzbekistan exceeded $7billion. There are 461 enterprises with participation of South Korean capital in our country, including 386 joint ventures and 75 enterprises with 100% South Korean capital. These enterprises are successfully operating in the oil and gas, petrochemical and chemical, mechanical engineering, electrotechnical and textile industries, spheres of information and communication technologies, transport, logistics and tourism.
Currently the two countries have been cooperating in implementing a number of big investment projects that give great impetus to deepening cooperation in trade-economic, investment and energy sectors. Among them is the construction of the Ustyurt gas-chemical complex. This project worth $4billion is carried out jointly with KOGAS, Lotte Chemical and STX Corporations. Its successful completion in 2015 was another important landmark in bilateral investment cooperation.

Uzbekistan is one of the leading countries in the world in terms of reserves of precious, base and rare metals, uranium, natural gas and other fossil fuels. This serves as a solid basis for joint economic and investment collaboration. For example, the Korean National Oil Corporation currently is conducting geological exploration in Uzbekistan while other companies are involved in developing various deposits.
However, bilateral cooperation is not limited to exploration of natural resources alone. Intensive collaboration is underway in the manufacturing sector, including the automotive industry. At the present time more than 35 Korean companies are involved in manufacturing Uzbek cars.
There are also a myriad of opportunities for enhancing investment cooperation in mining, oil-gas, petrochemical, construction, automobile-manufacturing and textile industries as well as in agricultural sector and in the field of energy saving technologies.
Logistics are another area of cooperation. The world largest air-cargo carrier Korean Air for the past six years has been managing an International Logistic Center at the Airport of Navoi that is located next to Navoi Free Industrial Economic Zone which creates exceptional conditions for developing economically viable production and swift delivery of manufactured products to global markets through an effective system of multimodal transportation networks.
The two countries have also been closely cooperating in the financial sector. Recently, with EDCF’s preferential loans we have implemented four projects in the areas of telecommunication, healthcare and education.

Intensive bilateral cooperation has been underway for a quite long time thanks to technical assistance of the Government of the Republic of Korea that is rendered through the Korean Agency for International Cooperation. As of today more than 1400 specialists of different ministries and agencies of Uzbekistan have undergone trainings in South Korea through KOICA’s programs.
The two countries have been successfully cooperating for an extended period of time in the cultural-humanitarian field, in particular in expanding exchanges and interactions in the area of education, medicine, tourism and sport. One of the concrete results of such collaboration is the creation in the capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, of the Seoul Park. The Head of our state proposed to name one of the streets of Tashkent in honor of Seoul as a sign of friendship between our people.
The Korean Diaspora in Uzbekistan, one of the largest in the world, plays an important role in strengthening friendly relations between our two countries. Last year the Korean diaspora celebrated the 80th Anniversary of their residing on the hospitable Uzbek soil that became their second motherland. Among main purposes of construction of the House of Korean Culture and Art in Tashkent is the creation of favorable conditions for preserving cultural heritage, traditions and art of Uzbekistan's Korean Diaspora.
Relations are developing dynamically in the sphere of education. The universities of our country are cooperating with more than 30 scientific research institutions of South Korea. Centers of Korean language and culture are opened in a number of educational institutions. In 2014, Inha University was opened in Tashkent, which raised cooperation in this direction to a new level. This higher educational institution is the first foreign university that prepares highly qualified IT specialists at the level of international standards. Today, more than thousand students are studying at the university on information technologies, engineering and logistics.
All-in-all, over the past 26 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations Tashkent and Seoul have forged a genuine strategic partnership and currently are closely cooperating with each other in further advancing multifaceted cooperation in various fields and strengthening mutually beneficial bilateral relations that serve the interest of the two countries and their peoples.
In conclusion, taking this opportunity, I would like to wish to the esteemed readers of this reputed magazine every success in all their endeavors, longevity and well-being.

Kim Sua  edt@koreapost.com

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