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South Korean president to arrive in Doha tomorrow

AILYN AGONIA DOHA QATAR-SOUTH Korea (Republic of Korea) ties are all set to receive a new boost with the South East Asian country’s president scheduled to arrive in Doha on Thursday.

“The president’s state visit will further boost our bilateral relations,” South Korea’s Ambassador to Qatar HE Chang See-Jeong said on Tuesday.

During his visit, President Lee Myung-bak will discuss with the Emir His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani the ways to reinforce bilateral relations, See-Jeong added.

High-ranking officials from the South Korean ministries of foreign affairs, industry and construction will accompany the president on his first state visit to Qatar.

A number of agreements, particularly in the field energy, are expected to be signed on the occasion.

Also on the agenda are economy, trade, technology, construction and health cooperation, he told Qatar Tribune.

Expanding collaboration between Qatar and South Korea on global issues like green growth, a path of economic growth which uses natural resources in a sustainable manner, will also be among the highlights of meeting, he added, pointing out that Korea is among the leading advocates of green growth.“Korea is one of

the biggest trade partners of

Qatar. Last year our bilateral

trade volume exceeded $20

billion. Our interdependence

is quite high,” the envoy said,

adding that it is a win-win

situation for both countries

particularly in the field of

energy.

The presidential visit is

expected to strengthen ties

between Qatar and Korea in

the future, he said. Health is

among the new areas of cooperation

being explored by the

two countries.

Sport is another field in

which South Korea and Qatar

are seeking closer ties, the

envoy said. The Korean and

Qatari Handball Federations

signed an agreement recently,

which was followed by training

of Korean teams in Doha

and two friendly matches

between the two sides. Tennis

and football are the other

games in which the two countries

are actively collaborating,

he added.

While the exchange of commodities

between Qatar and

Korea is important, See-

Jeong said that he considered

developing a more personal

relationship to strengthen the

bilateral ties between the two

countries.

“The exchange of commodities

is important, of

course, but it is not enough.

‘People-to-people’ understanding

should also be highlighted.

Therefore, the

embassy has focused on this

so-called public diplomacy,”

the envoy emphasised.

Asked about the number of

South Koreans in Qatar, he

said that currently the numbers

are a little over 2,000

and expected to grow in the

near future as one of the

focuses of Qatari leadership is

to promote the popularity of

Education City among

Korean students.


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