The Embassy of Paraguay in Seoul cerebrated the 207th Anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Paraguay on Friday, May 18th at Millennium Seoul Hilton Hotel. Paraguay gained independence from Spain on May 15th, 1811. Raul Silvero Silvagni, Ambassador of Paraguay to Seoul, welcomed honorary guests one by one with his warm heart at the entrance of the reception hall and showed his gratitude for their presence on that special day. Mr. Silvagni started his opening remarks with emphasis on Paraguay’s vibrant democracy and being one of the most prosperous and fastest growing economies in the region. He praised that South Korea has been a close nation to the affections of the Paraguayan people and a strategic ally to achieve the desired development for the last 56 years. According to a data from the ECLAC (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean), Paraguay achieved average 6.5% annual economic growth between the year 2013 and the year 2016 accompanied by 25% increase in FDI (Foreign Direction Investment) with 22% investment return. It is especially notable that Paraguay achieved a record 5,000 million dollar investment in the infrastructure sector, double the amount to that of the last 20 years. “This great achievement”, said Mr. Silvagni, “has been possible thanks to the support of government, international organizations, risk rating agencies and the businesses home and abroad.” Interesting fact to know: Paraguay opened its door to Korean immigrants departing from the Port of Busan in 1965. Despite its new harsh environment, the Korean immigrants made steady advancements with Korean’s unique custom of “diligence” and the number today has reached around 6,000 Koreans in blood. Valuing this long time connections between the two countries, and also to keep promoting the exchanges, the Korean government is offering scholarships to young Paraguayans who wish to study in Korea while the Paraguayan government also encourages their students to study abroad based on its own scholarship ‘Don Carlos Antonio Lopez’. “Paraguay also signed a MOU for electronic government cooperation with the Korean government and a cooperation agreement with the Korea Information Society Agency to open an Information Access Center. In addition, the Information Agency of Paraguay signed an agreement with the Yonhap News to promote exchanges of information which will allow a greater connection between the audiences of both countries” said Mr. Silvagni. He closed his opening remarks by saying “We invite you all to visit Paraguay and discover the best kept treasures in South America.” After Mr. Silvagni, a congratulatory message was made by Heo Tae-wan, Director General of Latin America and Caribbean Affairs Bureau of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Korea, and a toast by Jung Yong-sun, Director General for Latin America of KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency). Also on the day, a classical guitarist Ko Ui-suk took the stage to play a couple of songs to congratulate the 207 years of its independence and received a huge round of applauds.
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