Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka of the Czech Republic visits Korea today at the official invitation of President Park Geun-hye for a four-day stay until Feb. 27, 2015. This was disclosed by the Presidential Mansion of Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul yesterday.
Visiting Korea on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Prime Minister Sobotka is accompanied by a large economic-business delegation of over 60 members, including cabinet ministers.
Prime Minister Sobotka is scheduled to have a summit meeting with President Park Geunm-hye on Feb. 26 and an official luncheon. At the summit meeting, President Park and Prime Minister Sobotka are expected to discuss ways to practically increase exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in various areas, including the political and economic fields, trade, energy, infrastructure, science, technology, culture and education. The two leaders are also scheduled to exchange views on diplomatic matters, including peace and unification of the Korean peninsula, Europe and Northeast Asian region.
Prime Minister Sobota is the first head of government the Czech Republic to visit Korea in 14 years after the last visit of the then Prime Minister Milos Zeman who is now the president of the Czech Republic.
Presidential spokesman said that the visit of Prime Minister Sobotka will contribute to the expansion of cooperation between the two countries in the infrastructure, energy and various other areas based on the close ties of relations developed between Korea and the Czech Republic formed 25 years ago.
The Czech Republic assumes the chair of the Visegrad Group (V4), consisting of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, and it is expected that within the framework of cooperation based on the Korea-V4 formed last year, multilateral cooperation could be sought in various areas, including their support for a peaceful unification of the Korean peninsula, energy development and culture.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Korea has been strengthening Korea’s relations with the V4, including the Korea-V4 meeting with the MOFA deputy minister on June 13 last year and the ministers meeting on July 17.
Prime Minister Sobotka is also expected to visit the Busan Metropolitan City, which is the largest port city and the second largest city of Korea after Seoul on the evening of Feb. 26, and have a dinner meeting at the Lotte Hotel in Busan between the Czech delegation and the government and business leaders of Busan and Gyeonsangnam-do provinces, including Mayor Suh Byung-soo.
They are expected exchange views on further promoting economic and business relations between Kora’s largest business region and the Czech Republic.
Business sources said the Czech leaders seemingly had strong interest in the promotion of cooperative relations with the region which includes Ulsan where major Korean heavy industries are located such as Hyundai Heavy Industries.