The Republic of Uganda and the Republic of Korea have committed to bolster ties and cooperation.
Speaking at the National Foundation Day Celebrations, H.E. Park Sung-soo, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Republic of Uganda, noted that next year (2023) will mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and Uganda.
“I hope today’s reception can add to renewed momentum of our growing relationships,” he said.
H.E. Park Sung-soo noted that for years, the two countries have witnessed the steady growth of partnership in various fields; mutual trust, where understanding has also strengthened.
“We are aware that there is still room for improvement in our relations. We can take it up a notch,” he said.
“In this regard, high-level exchanges have continued to provide great momentum in our relationship. In particular, both presidents’ states visits respectively in 2013 and 2016, laid a solid foundation for future cooperation and expanded the horizon of our partnership,” he added.
H.E. Park Sung-soo noted that development cooperation with Uganda has also strengthened in a relatively short period of time.
He said the Korean government has focused on what Uganda really needs, extending our cooperation through the KOICA, KOPIA and KOFIH country offices in the areas of healthcare, education and rural development.
“We will carry on our development cooperation with Uganda in order to support her relentless efforts in enhancing her human capital and economic growth, while fully sharing our economic development experience and technical knowledge,” he said.
“Now, with 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations right ahead of us, it is timely and necessary to think about the future of our partnership. In the first few months since I arrived here in Uganda, I have witnessed this country’s tremendous potential and value. Even though, like all other emerging countries, Uganda is experiencing rapid changes and facing a lot of challenges, she is politically stable, economically active, socially young and mentally very strong,” H.E. Park Sung-soo explained.
“I hereby pledge that Korea will walk together with Uganda on her journey to her brightest future. I am looking forward to a future partnership that is more durable and sustainable, which will be mutually beneficial for both our countries,” the Ambassador pledged.
He told guests that there are plenty of indicators that Uganda is ready to become an economic hub in the East African region, and Korea, as the world’s seventh largest exporter and the ninth largest importer, is willing and able to be one of Uganda’s best partners.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. To encourage more Koreans to have more interest in Uganda, both Korea and Uganda need to spare no effort in increasing people-to-people and material-to-material exchanges. Furthermore, it is imperative to lay the legal groundwork such as a bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement and a double tax avoidance agreement in order to make Uganda a more attractive investment destination for Korean companies. This year, for the first time, the Embassy of Korea, together with several Korean companies, is participating in the Uganda International Trade Fair,” he said, adding that the Korean Government is making efforts to increase exchanges and cooperation with African countries including Uganda.
“President Yoon has announced a plan to hold the first ever Korea-Africa Summit in 2024. The summit, I am sure, will create vigorous momentum that will open a new chapter in the history of Korea-Africa relations. I believe that Uganda will be a part of this wonderful history-making event.”
“Many Koreans are present here in celebrating this event. They are playing a role as a bridge between Korea and Uganda and contributing to Uganda’s social and economic development. In furtherance of that role, I would like to continue deepening our relations through the Korean community here,” noted the Ambassador.
The State Minister for Foreign Affairs in-charge of International Affairs, Henry Okello Oryem, congratulated the government of Korea on their National Foundation Day and Armed Forces Day.
He said Uganda and Korea have enjoyed excellent and mutually beneficial political, economic and historical relations based on the principles of mutual respect, democracy and share interests.
He noted that in the area of development cooperation, the Minister said Korea has been a strategic partner for Uganda in socio-economic development.
Oryem applauded the Korean government for the donations made through various programmes totalling $6,575,132 as support during the COVID-19 pandemic and the donation of three new vehicles to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He reaffirmed Uganda’s commitment toward supporting the process of peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula without outside interference.
The ceremony was also graced by the State Minister for Defence, Jacob Marksons Oboth Oboth, Minister of State for Health, Margaret Muhanga Mugisa, Minister of State for Environment, Hon Betty Anwar.
Others were defense attaches, heads of diplomatic missions and the Korean community in Uganda.
The Korean government’s support for Uganda’s refugee policy also carried on in the same context. In recognition of the great efforts required to respond to the refugee influx in Uganda, Korea has looked for ways to help Uganda better engage with this situation.
In September, in collaboration with the WFP, we made the fourth donation of 6,000 tonnes of rice for refugees in Uganda. Additionally, KOICA is currently cooperating with UNDP implement an economic empowerment programme for women in refugee camps and reception centres, as well as working in partnership with the UNHCR to accelerate Uganda’s implementation of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework.