South Korea-Central Asia cooperation discussed at Tashkent forum

Uzbekistan, Tashkent, November 16 / Trend, D. Azizov /

Representatives of South Korea and the five Central Asian republics examined issues of interaction in the fields of science and technology; intergovernmental cooperation over creation of electronic government; and cooperation in the field of sports at a forum in Tashkent.

Cooperation forum entitled "Korean Republic-Central Asia" was conducted in Tashkent on November 15-16. The event was attended by delegations from South Korea and five regional countries - Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan - led by their respective deputy foreign ministers.
Uzbekistan is eager to develop multilateral cooperation under the forum, said Vladimir Norov, First Deputy Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan.

He noted that the cooperation forum is a reliable mechanism for an efficient use of the potential of the region having huge raw material and energy reserves, skilled personnel, and developed infrastructure.

"We permanently see the sincere aspiration of the event's founder and key inspirer - Korean Republic - for equal-in-rights, mutually useful dialogue respecting the interests of all participants of the format, and proceeding from national interests of each of them," Norov reported.
As viewed by him, the interaction is greatly contributed by President Li Men Bak's Asian diplomacy politically prioritizing development of Korea's comprehensive cooperation with Central Asian countries for the sake of joint prosperity of the whole continent.

Korean First Deputy Foreign Minister Pak Sok Hvan said 2012 is the 20th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and Central Asian states and that this provides the opportunity to analyze results of 20-year cooperation and development of relations.
"Korea and Central Asia historically developed mutual exchange and cooperation through the Silk Way that played the role of key artery linking Asia to Europe and provided humanitarian communications amongst civilizations," said Pak Sok Hvan.
He noted that important factor for development of Korea's cooperation with the region's countries is that more than 300,000 Central Asian Koreans reside in the region.
Evident results have been achieved in Korea's relations with Central Asian countries over past two decades: trade turnover between Korea and Central Asian countries increased by 180 times up to $2.7 billion in 1992-2010.
"Central Asian countries, which this year marked the 20th anniversary of their independent development and proceed from the achievements of socioeconomic progress, today pursue a policy of innovations and industry diversification to reach a brand new development level. From this point, we can speak of unlimited potentials of Korea's cooperation with Central Asian countries," Pak Sok Hvan said.
At the forum, the sides agreed the further meetings under such format should be carried out at ministerial level.

An investment forum aiming to establish direct contacts among business representatives of the format's countries was also conducted at the sidelines of the event.

The "Republic Korea-Central Asia" cooperation forum has been in effect since November 2007.

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