Міністерство закордонних справ України

Київ 03:05

Інтерв'ю Посла України в Республіці Корея Василя Мармазова виданню "The Korea Herald" з нагоди відзначення 25-річчя встановлення дипоматичних відносин між двома країнами

14 лютого, 04:00

Ukraine, Korea mark silver jubilee of diplomacy

Marking the silver jubilee of diplomatic ties this year, Ukraine and Korea have laid a solid foundation for a wide array of future-oriented cooperation, Ukraine’s top envoy to Korea said last week.

Ukrainian Ambassador Vasyl Marmazov, who nears the end of his post after five years, said the past 25 years of bilateral cooperation have sowed the seedbeds of growth in infrastructure, agriculture, construction, energy, science and technology, education and tourism.

“Looking back over the last quarter of a century, we can confidently say that Ukraine and Korea are no longer strangers to one another,” he told The Korea Herald. 

“Ukrainians travel between major cities in the country on Hyundai Rotem high-speed trains, and use Samsung smartphones. Korean students are learning Ukrainian language and culture at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, and more of our agricultural products are sold to Korean consumers.”

Ukrainian Ambassador Vasyl Marmazov (right) and Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se (Ukrainian Embassy)


In addition, the two countries stake out common positions on major global issues, including the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, fight against climate change, sustainable use of energy and combatting terrorism, the envoy noted. 

There have been high-level political visits between Kiev and Seoul over the years, involving both countries’ presidents, prime ministers, speakers of parliament as well as foreign ministers. The political cooperation is undergirded by two interstate, 25 intergovernmental and 21 interagency agreements. 

In the economic sphere, Ukraine and Korea recorded bilateral trade of $856 million in 2015, with the Eastern European economy having a $467 million deficit, according to Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. 

Although the Ukrainian economy was hit hard in 2015 by Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and conflicts in the east, prospects for recovery and growth remain, the state-funded agency said, particularly in domestic manufacturing.

“Our economies are highly complementary,” the diplomat argued. “Korea needs a stable and reliable access to raw materials and agricultural products, while Ukraine needs investment to modernize its infrastructure for export, and intensify agricultural production using the world’s best black soil.”

Mentioning Ukraine-produced carrier rocket Dnipro that helped launch three Korean satellites into space, Marmazov claimed that synergy can be gained in heavy industries, information communications technology and aerospace engineering.

Samsung Research and Development Institute Ukraine in Kiev is one of the largest of its kind in Eastern Europe, and Hyundai Motors Ukraine distributes cars to some 30 dealers in Ukraine. 

Ukraine’s Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Posco Daewoo, a Korean conglomerate in international trading and investment and resource development, signed a protocol of intentions on providing equipment to Ukraine’s small and medium-sized agricultural enterprises last year. Ukrainian firm Nibulon is working to expand its grain and corn exports to Korea. 

In energy, Ukraine’s National Nuclear Energy Generating Company and Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company inked a memorandum on completing the construction of units three and four of Khmelnytskyi Nuclear Power Plant in western Ukraine, as well as implementing the Ukraine-European Union Energy Bridge project. 

The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area -- part of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and EU -- opens doors for joint business with Korea targeting the European market, the diplomat said, adding Ukraine connects the Commonwealth of Independent States and European markets. 

Joint initiatives in agriculture, nuclear and solar energies, infrastructure development, machinery production, electronic government, medicine and waste utilization were launched recently. 

“For a more transparent and investor-friendly regime, Ukraine is striving to reform its administration by removing the red tape, corruption and vested interests,” Marmazov said. “We invite Korean companies to invest in various sectors of our economy, particularly infrastructure, agriculture, construction, energy and high technologies.” 

Under Marmazov’s ambassadorship, 20 bilateral agreements and memorandums were signed, covering the abolition of visas for holders of official and service passports and establishment of a joint committee for cooperation in outer space, as well as education, energy, construction, agricultural, medicine and science and technology. 

Some 350 Ukrainians live in Korea, most working at Korean companies or studying in universities. In recent years, around 10,000 Ukrainians visited Korea for business, tourism and other activities. More than 35,000 ethnic Koreans reside in Ukraine. 

At the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies’ Ukrainian studies department, 20 students commence studying the language, culture and history annually. More than 20 memorandums on educational collaboration are set in place between Ukrainian and Korean universities. 

“Korea’s innovation-focused education is extremely helpful for Ukraine,” the ambassador stressed, citing the curriculum development and certification of teachers in information and communication technology, science, engineering, the arts and mathematics. 

The fifth meeting of the Joint Ukraine-Korea Committee on Science and Technology will be held in the spring, with discussions to enlarge partnerships in aerospace, ICT, physics, new materials, bio- and nanotechnology and radiology. 

Highlighting the visa-free regime for Koreans in Ukraine, the diplomat encouraged traveling to his country, famous for its scenic nature, castles and modern architecture, balneological resorts, hiking, skiing, vibrant urban life and culinary delights. He also underscored Ukraine’s affordable prices of accommodation, food and transportation.

By Joel Lee (joel@heraldcorp.com)

Published : 2017-02-13 19:19

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20170213000863