In an exclusive interview with ENA, the South Korean Ambassador to Ethiopia said Korea is keen to support Ethiopia’s ambition to ensure achieve peace and prosperity.
Congratulating the new government for being elected with the popular will of Ethiopians, he said Ethiopia is special to Korea and the two countries have established strong diplomatic relations.
Korea will therfore continue to help Ethiopia move forward toward peace and prosperity.
According to Ambassador Seok-hee achieving peace and development is a long way to go. But if Ethiopia closely cooperates with international partners, including Korea, I think the country can make it real.
“Korea has special experience in shifting from a developing country to a developed one. So we like to share our experience to Ethiopia. Thus we will continue to help Ethiopia follow the footsteps Korea has taken so far.”
Korea has at present the largest development cooperation projects in Ethiopia among African countries, it was learned.
The ambassador stated that development cooperation in Ethiopia focused on health, education, agriculture and infrastructural development. Korea is committed to continue with the ongoing development projects with Ethiopia, he added.
On the other hand, Ambassador Seok-hee pointed out that his country will exert maximum efforts to strengthen trade and investment ties between the two countries.
Besides, Korea is interested to cooperate more with Ethiopia in terms of global issues such as climate change and peace keeping operations.
“I think this is important to develop private sector cooperation between the two countries and ensure sustainable relationship,” he said.
The ambassador further said although there are about 20 Korean companies operating in Ethiopia, this is very low when compared with Korea’s global activities.
In order to promote trade and investment, “we need to inform Korean companies about the potential of doing business in Ethiopia,” he elaborated.
“With about 110 million population — most of them young people, and sustained high economic growth, Ethiopia will become a good partner in terms of trade and investment,” Ambassador Seok-hee noted.
He, however, highlighted the need for improving some difficulties related to taxation and customs administration for investors. The embassy is consulting with Ethiopian authorities to create favorable environment for Korean companies to do business in Ethiopia, the ambassador revealed.
The ambassador further stated that since the Korean people and their government have special feeling towards Ethiopia, companies and NGO people are trying to help Ethiopia.