ISLAMABAD: Korean Ambassador Song Jong-hwan said a joint venture between Pakistan and Korea would be mutually beneficial. He pointed out Pakistan was rich in natural resources while Korea had great knowledge on economic development.
Song Jong-hwan, in an exclusive talk with The Express Tribune, declared October as Korea Month and talked about a variety of issues ranging from bilateral relations to regional matters. “I am keen to see South Korea and Pakistan’s relations grow at a rapid pace,” Song said. “Pak-Korea diplomatic relations were established in 1983, whereas ties between our people date back to the fourth century when Maranantha, a famous monk, studied Buddhism in Taxila and then introduced Buddhism to Korea.
He said Pakistan provided humanitarian assistance to his country during the Korean War from 1950 to 1953.
He stressed these provide solid grounds to build a strong and durable friendship for the future. Referring to the “Miracle on River Han”, which signifies economic revival of Korea, the ambassador said he wanted to see a miracle on the Indus River. “Korea is actively supporting Pakistan in its socio-economic development by extending financial assistance worth millions of dollars through the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF). He said this included $78 million that EDCF financing pledged for the Malakand tunnel project in 2011. In addition, over $45 million extended to develop seven grid stations in Gujranwala in 2007 and about $27.5 million were provided to build a grid station in Lahore.”
Further, Ambassador Song said a framework arrangement to provide $500 million in financing for the period from 2015 to 2017 was going to be signed soon at a government level.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2015.