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Korea Willing To Enhance Ties With Pakistan In Tourism, Trade: Ex-Envoy

November 24, 2023

TAXILA: South Korea is ready to expand trade and tourism ties with Pakistan.

The country has Buddhist ruins that attract religious tourists and could also provide opportunities for the Korean business community. This is about Dr.Song Jeong-hwan, a  professor at Kyungnam University and former South Korean ambassador to Pakistan, who spoke to reporters at the  Sirkap ruins on Sunday.

Dr.Song Jeong-hwan leads a 26-member business and tourism delegation to Pakistan, comprising representatives from academia, tourism, and major industries. The delegation is on a week-long visit to explore tourism and investment opportunities for Korean investors.

On Sunday, she visited Taxila Museum, Dharmarajika, and Sirkap and showed great interest in Buddhist sites.

Dr.Song said there are many opportunities for cooperation in cultural and religious tourism, adding that Pakistan is a country of opportunity and  Korean companies can invest in diverse industrial sectors.

The former envoy said that hydropower companies are expanding their operations in Pakistan. There are currently more than 10,000 Pakistani workers in South Korea, and the annual employment rate of Pakistani workers has increased to 2,500 this year.

He said that there are many opportunities for cooperation.

He said that by the end of November 2022, the number of Pakistani workers who entered South Korea through the work permit system had exceeded 1,600, and by 2023, With the establishment of diplomatic relations between South Korea and Pakistan, which added to the increase in the number of Pakistani workers entering the country, Buddhism became a medium to develop bilateral relations further.

He said that the Korean Buddhist community is trying to establish a Gandhara Cultural Research Center in Pakistan to develop it into a university specializing in  Buddhist historical sites in Pakistan.

“After my retirement, I will continue to serve as Pakistan’s Goodwill Ambassador.

I will continue to promote further cooperation between our two countries in trade, investment, industry, and culture.

“We will continue to support Pakistan by presenting a positive image of this great country in the most important forums,” he added.

Kang Chang-kook, a former Daejeon University of Science and Technology professor, said the two countries are actively promoting cooperation in national defense, education, and tourism.

He added that the Korean government would like to take relations with Islamabad to a higher level by strengthening cooperation in multi-purpose fields to maximize investment opportunities.

He said that in 2019, a Korean Buddhist pilgrimage group of more than 60 people led by Ven Won-hang, chairman of the Korean Buddhist Jogye sect, visited Pakistan, adding that such religious trips to Pakistan will further strengthen the cultural ties between the two countries.

He added that Volunteer Investment Advisor Mudassar Ali Cheema highlighted that the population of the Pakistani community in the Republic of Korea (South Korea) is approximately 12,440 as of the end of 2022, according to the Korean Immigration Bureau.

According to him, there are approximately 408 businessmen engaged in businesses such as the export of fabrics, blankets, carpets, used machinery, used cars and restaurants, surgical equipment, travel agencies, mobile phone business, heavy machinery, and printing.

They say there are people Mr.Cheema believed that  Pakistan needed to foster trade, economic, and investment ties through people-to-people contacts rather than focus on its geostrategic location.

Companies must be networked through organizations and business associations to create favorable conditions for foreign direct investment.

“The two countries have the potential to deepen further and expand bilateral cooperation in various fields, including trade and investment, based on mutual benefits and a friendly investment environment,” it added.

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