By Business editor Kim Tae-moon with Reporter Son Da-som
On the occasion of the Dominican Republic’s Independence Day, Ambassador Humberto Salazar of the Dominican Republic and Mrs. Elizabeth Llauger hosted a reception at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Feb. 27, 2019.
Speaking to the guests, Ambassador Humberto Salazar said, “We were honored to have the Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, Mr. Lee Nak-Yeon, make and official visit to the Dominican Republic, where he met with President Danilo Medina to support ongoing cooperation and investment projects in the sustainable energy, construction and manufacturing sectors, just to name a few of the areas.”
The said, “the party was attended by many Korean and international guests, as well as the ambassadors and other senior members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps with their spouses.”
Among the guests in attendance were Deputy Foreign Minister Bahk Sahng-hoon of Korea for Public Diplomacy and Ambassadors Bruno Figueroa Fischer of Mexico, Oscar Gustavo Herrera Gilbert of Ecuador, Harry Harris of U.S.A., Juan Ignacio Morro Villacian of Spain, Jagath Abeywarna of Sri Lanka, Amed MA Al-Tabuli of Libya, Mohamed Gello of Kenya, Abida Islam of Bangladesh, Difie Agyarko Kusi of Ghana, Peteris Vaivars of Latvia, Mohamed Salim Alharthy of Oman, Luis Pablo Ossio Bustillos of Bolivia, Virgilio Paredes Trapero of Honduras, Bakyt Dyussenbayev of Kazakhstan, Antoine Azzam of Lebanon, Daul Matute-Mejia of Peru.
From the Korean society came many distinguished guests from all walks of life, including 2018 prize-winning amateur photo artist, Beom Jin-seok (a successful businessman) from the national photo exhibition of Korea and Director Park Nam-soo of the Muju County Regional Development Council.
From the media came a number of pubishers and editors who Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media with his reportorial team from the five media outlets of his company.
Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Humberto Salazar:
His Excellency Bahk Sahng-hoon, Ambassador for Public Diplomacy for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea (MOFA), Colleagues from the Diplomatic Corps, Authorities from the Government of the Republic of Korea, Dominican community resident in the Republic of Korea and special guests, Good Afternoon,
Before I begin, I would like to express our sincere appreciation to all of you for having taken time out of your schedules to share occasion with us.
Today, February 27th, 2019, commemorates the 175th Anniversary of the Dominican Republic proclamation of independence.
Today’s celebration is even more significant on a personal level, because it’s the first occasion where I can celebrate the anniversary of the birth of our nation as a representative to the Government of the Republic of Korea, after having assumed my duties as Ambassador of the Dominican Republic.
This year also marks the 57th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Korea, and we are more than honored to be able to present our Letters of Credence to the President of the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Moon Jae-In, in the next few days.
Throughout 2018, the Dominican Republic continued to strengthen its institutions, friendly ties and cooperation with the international community in its search for the peace and fraternal relationships that should prevail between all countries around the world.
We can resume our efforts in the area of international relations in a number of achievements, chief among which are:
Our Pro Tempore Presidency of the Central American Integration System (SICA)
We were elected as a Non-Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council, with the support of 184 of the 193 member countries, including the support of the Republic of Korea. We assumed our role one the Council in January of this year.
In the same regard, the Dominican Republic was also elected and assumed its duties as the Regional Coordinator for Latin America within the Forum for East Asia - Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC).
It’s worth noting that during our tenure as Regional Coordinator, the Dominican Republic will organize and host the 9th FEALAC Foreign Ministers Meeting, scheduled for the last quarter of this year.
As a country on the American continent, our economic and social achievements during 2018 were more than notable:
The Dominican Republic’s Gross Domestic Product grew by the largest margin in all of the Americas and the Caribbean, situating itself at 7.0%. Our continual growth is reflected in a more than 50% drop in poverty rates, as well as visible progress in the quality of life in all sectors of Dominican life.
The Governments of the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Korea continue to expand their levels of exchanges and cooperation, as well as strengthening their bilateral relations with high-level visits between both countries and the large number of Korean officials dispatched to the Dominican Republic.
During 2018, we received visits from more than fifteen of these delegations.
In this regard, we were honored to have the Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, Mr. Lee Nak-Yeon, make and official visit to the Dominican Republic, where he met with President Danilo Medina to support ongoing cooperation and investment projects in the sustainable energy, construction and manufacturing sectors, just to name a few of the areas.
In the same manner, the large Korean enterprises have also increased their presence in the Dominican Republic and continue to participate in a diverse area of projects, as well as collaborate with the public and private sectors.
By way of the Presidential Decree Number 453-18, the Dominican Government declared 2019 al “The Year of Innovation and Competitivity”. In this regard, we look forward to expanding our cooperation with the Republic of Korea, seeing as it is one of the world leaders in these two areas.
Additionally, we will continue to work together with the Korean authorities and sectors of society to strengthen the existing cooperation, as well as identify new and innovative fields, with the goal of boosting changes that amplify and multiply modernization, innovation and competitivity in the Dominican economy.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate President Moon’s Administration for its encouraging approach to the North Korean authorities, as well as the steps taken to identify a new peaceful dynamic on the Korean Peninsula.
We feel more than happy that precisely today, February 27th – a date which commemorates the birth of our independence, the second summit between the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un, and the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, is being held in Vietnam, representing another step in the approach between the two Koreas.
In the name of the Government of the Dominican Republic, we would like to express our sincere desire that all the efforts put forth by all parties may result in a more brilliant and peaceful future.
Once again, thank you all for joining us today. Muchas gracias.