A reception celebrating the National Day of the Republic of Belarus was held on June 28 at Lotte Hotel Seoul. The reception was attended by the representatives of Korean state bodies, heads of diplomatic missions, representatives of diplomatic corps, public organizations and Korean media. Among the guests were the leaders of the Korean Association of Importers, Korea Trade Network KTNET and several other major companies and business associations. In his opening remark, H.E. Mr. A.Popkov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus in Seoul emphasized that Belarus was expecting cooperation in aerospace, AI, biotech, electricity, autonomous vehicle, robot and electronic engineering, nano material and digital economy with South Korea. He backed up this by mentioning that Belarus lays a greater importance of cooperation on Korea’s cutting edge technologies and the Belarus government’s legislations and other measures will create friendly environments for the future growth engine of both countries. Belarus and Korea established diplomatic ties in 1992 and reached to a trade volume of USD$150 million as of 2015. Korea is exporting to Belarus around 300 products of which mainly are the tech products such as automobile, electronics, medical equipment and remote communication devices with stronger presence of home appliances and mobile phones. Belarus, on the other hand, is exporting to Korea fertilizers and semi-conductor. It is notable that the output of potassic fertilizer in Belarus is enormous that it almost controls the global supply. The KOTRA opened an overseas trade center in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, in 2014 and the trade has been steadily grown through the Chamber of Commerce and Economy and other economic organizations of both countries. In regard to the recent thawing atmosphere between the two Koreas, Mr. Popkov brought up the case of Belarus in time of the Soviet Union during which Belarus obtained nuclear weapons but gave up with its own freewill by the support of the world powers; he said that it would be a good reference to establishing peace in the Korean Peninsula. Mr. Popkov also pointed out the Moon Administration’s Northern Policy and said that Belarus and Korea share the same vision in terms of peace in Eurasia, and Belarus, which is a founding member of the Eurasian Economic Union, would give proactive economic, industrial and investment support. Mr. Popkov then congratulated a successful holding of the PyeongChang 2018 and said it would positively affect the European Games 2019 and the Ice Hockey World Championships 2021 co-hosted by Belarus and Latvia. To congratulate the National Day of Belarus on behalf of the Korean government and the people, Kwon Yong Bok, Deputy Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of the Republic of Korea, delivered a congratulatory remark on the day; he said that Korea and Belarus shared the similar geography and history and the strong willpower of the people have overcome many challenges and difficulties in the past; Korea now is pushing forward transport, logistics and energy infrastructure that would connect through Eurasia and it would bring advancement and prosperity to both countries and beyond. Meanwhile, Mr. Popkov awarded an Honorary Diploma of the Government of Belarus to Yoon Kyung-Duk, the Honorary Consul of Belarus in Seoul, for his significant personal contribution to the development of Belarus – Korea relations and bilateral trade and economic cooperation.
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