ISLAMABAD: In the first-ever visit by any South Korean prime minister to Pakistan since the start of diplomatic relations between two countries some 30 years back, Chung Hongwon is scheduled to land here today (Sunday) on a four-day tour.
The visit is part of the South Korean prime minister’s eight-day visit to China and Pakistan that started on April 9 with Hongown’s arrival in the Chinese town of Boao for participation in a regional forum, also attended by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The South Korean dignitary will be arriving in Islamabad from the Chinese city of Chongqing and stay here from April 13 to 16. Apart from other government functionaries, the prime minister is to meet President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
In December 2012, the then president Asif Ali Zardari had gone to South Korea on a three-day visit on the request of Lee Myung-bak, the then Korean president.
Talking to Daily Times, Information Minister Senator Pervaiz Rashid termed the Korean prime minister’s visit as a ‘historical’ event unprecedented in Pakistan’s history. “It never happened before that the head of the government of a brotherly state as important as South Korea visited in Pakistan. It has only become possible due to the personal interest taken by Nawaz Sharif,” he claimed. The minister claimed that the Korean dignitary’s maiden visit would ‘rewrite’ what he believed a new epoch in the history of Pak-Korea economic cooperation. “Pak-Korea mutual collaboration in different areas of economic interests will strengthen the regional cooperation and bilateral trade prospects.”
According to Foreign Office, the South Korean prime minister will be the chief guest at the ‘Korea-Pakistan Investment Cooperation Forum’, being jointly organised by Pakistan and Korea tomorrow (Monday).
“Over the years, relations between Pakistan and the Republic of Korea in various fields have broadened. Bilateral trade figure of $ 1.341 billion speaks of growing economic and trade ties between the two countries. Many Korean companies are investing in Pakistan in the areas of chemical industry, hydel/thermal power and infrastructure projects,” a brief issued by the FO earlier this week said. This visit offers opportunities to both countries to exchange views on wide ranging bilateral, regional and international matters of mutual interest, the FO said. The two sides will also discuss ways and means for further strengthening cooperation in diverse areas particularly in expanding bilateral trade and enhancing investments in Pakistan, it added.
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