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Zim future bright: Korean Ambassador

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By Reginald Tapfumaneyi

The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Zimbabwe, His Excellency Mr. Cho Jaichel has expressed optimism about Zim’s future.

In an interview with the Diplomat Magazine, Ambassador Jaichel said Zimbabwe can bounce back within a short period as the nation is endowed with highly educated human capital.

“My nation once faced some economic challenges but we managed to sail through. Our government and people remained resolute and eventually we succeeded, and so will Zimbabwe. Korea has grown over the years to become the world’s 11th largest economy,” said the Ambassador.

Besides setting up and developing such highly competitive brands in the world like Samsung, LG, Hyundai and many others, South Korea also achieved political democracy.

Ambassador Cho expressed hope that the recently held peace summit between South Korea and North Korea will go down in history as the foundation for permanent peace and cooperation in the Korean peninsula. Previously, North Korea’s participation in the 2018 Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics at the invitation of the South Korean government, had provided the platform for re-establishment of inter-Korean relations.

Zimbabwe and South Korea enjoy cordial relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1994. The two countries have bilateral relations covering socio-economic, political and cultural areas.

KIFT (KOREA Funds-in-Trust) has provided $ 6 million for ICT education in three African countries through UNESCO, and Zimbabwe was chosen as one of the beneficiary countries. There are also many other projects going on, including Saemaul Undong Village Project in Mashonaland Central. Many scholarships are also being offered to Zimbabwean government officials and students to study in Korea, “Ambassador Cho said.

The embassy has been making efforts to provide Korean and Zimbabwean companies more opportunities business exchange.“My embassy organized “Korea-Zimbabwe Energy Investment Seminar” last November, in a bid to provide Korean companies and their Zimbabwean counterparts opportunities to meet and discuss about possible cooperation areas,” said the Ambassador.

The Korean Government also established KOPIA (Korea Program on International Agriculture) Center within the SIRDC campus as the first one in the Southern African region, strengthening cooperation in agriculture in a more systematic way.

Another emphasis is on people-to people exchange. In 2017 alone, more than 20,000 South Koreans visited Zimbabwe, especially Victoria Falls.

“Since my arrival here last year, I have met many good Zimbabweans, including musician Alick Macheso and sculptor Dominic Benhura. Even before I came to Zimbabwe, I knew about Zimbabwe sculptures. Nowadays, it’s not difficult to find Zimbabwean sculptures in Korea.”, Ambassador Cho added.

Ambassador Cho pledged to continue promoting and developing the two countries’ bilateral relations.

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