May 28, 2015
On May 27, 2015 began the state visit of President Islam Karimov to the Republic of Korea.

On the eve of the correspondent of IA \"Jahon\" talked to the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea to Uzbekistan Lee Uk-Hyun:

- Political relations between Uzbekistan and South Korea have traditionally developed on the basis of broad support each other in the international arena. The points of view and approaches of the sides on topical issues of global and regional importance are similar or close. Our countries cooperate closely within the UN and other international organizations.

Regular meetings at the highest level contribute to the progressive development of the strategic partnership. Inter-parliamentary relations also expanding, the visits of government delegations becoming more frequent. Ministerial consultations regularly held. Cooperation Forum \"Republic of Korea-Central Asia\" productively works.

Thus, a continuous dialogue that leads our country in a variety of formats, primarily at the level of heads of state, serves for the expansion and strengthening of bilateral relations.

- The Republic of Korea is one of the leading trade-economic and investment partners of Uzbekistan in the Asia-Pacific region. How do you assess the prospects of Uzbek-South Korean cooperation in these fields? - Today our countries have accumulated extensive experience in the successful economic cooperation. Many South Korean companies are active in Uzbekistan, which has created favorable conditions for foreign investors. In particular, Ustyurt gas chemical complex constructed at Surgil deposit in scope recognized as a mega-project at the international level. It should be completed this year.

Automotive industry - another priority area of cooperation. A number of South Korean company supplies spare parts for the GM plant for the production of cars.

Ties dynamically developing in the fields of finance, renewable energy and information and communication technologies. Separately, fruitful cooperation in the field of ICT should be noted. As its known, currently Uzbekistan moves towards the \"electronic government\", and our country has been actively involved in this process through the exchange of experience and experts.

Uzbekistan also implemented major projects jointly with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Export-Import Bank of Korea. Their activities in your country cover such areas as health, education and others.

We are grateful to the Uzbek partners for their continued contribution to the work of South Korean companies in the country. For its part, the subjects of our business will continue to work actively with Uzbekistan and invest in its economy.

- South Korea is one of the recognized leaders in the field of high technologies. In this regard, could you share your vision of opportunities for cooperation in this area?

- At present, Uzbekistan has created free industrial-economic zone \"Navoi\", special industrial zone \"Jizzakh\" and \"Angren\", which provided significant benefits and preferences for the establishment and development of high-tech production.

I recently visited the FIEZ \"Navoi\" and witnessed that there South Korean companies began to produce high-tech products, which is being implemented in Uzbekistan and in foreign markets. We see continued cooperation and interest of the Uzbek partners.

It is essential that the successful experience of our country firms in Uzbekistan to attract new businesses from South Korea. Such big companies like Samsung and LG, together with the delivery to the Republic of various products, have been working to establish a joint production. So, Samsung, together with Uzbek company Artel has started producing household appliances. Our challenge is to increase the number of such mutually beneficial projects.

- What are the results and prospects of cooperation between the two countries in the cultural sphere and in the field of education?

- Despite the geographical distance, our peoples are equally inherent in such noble qualities as loyalty to their country, the desire to appreciate and preserve the ancestral heritage and values, kindness and mercy, hard work and dedication, respect for elders and care for the younger ones. This spiritual closeness is one of the important pillars of relations between our countries and peoples.

Festivals, exhibitions, concerts and many other cultural events regularly organized. South Korean musicians and performers regularly take an active part in the International Music Festival \"Sharq taronalari\". And this year, I hope we will see them again on the magnificent Registan Square.

Recently, in a picturesque corner of Tashkent opened \"Seoul Park\", which became a wonderful vacation spot for residents and visitors, as well as the symbolic personification of the ancient culture of Korea. Currently we are working on the creation of the House of Korean culture and arts. It should be noted that this is the first project in the CIS.

Speaking about the relations in the field of education, not to mention about the creation of a branch in Uzbekistan Inha University in October 2014. This is the first overseas branch of Inha University. This university now makes a worthy contribution to the training of highly qualified specialists in the field of information and communication technology at the level of international standards.

- In Uzbekistan, representatives of more than one hundred thirty nations and nationalities, including a large Korean diaspora ...

- In Uzbekistan, there are about 200 thousand Koreans who live in peace and harmony around 80 years. We will never forget the generosity, kindness and sincerity of the people of Uzbekistan, which has sheltered and shared a piece of bread and mentally warmed tens of thousands of Koreans, once by the will of fate was in your country.

The atmosphere of consent, mutual respect and solidarity reigning in Uzbekistan between people of different nations and nationalities is a natural result of right and wise policy carried out in the country.

It is gratifying to note that the new composition of the Legislative Chamber and the Senate are representatives of the Korean diaspora. We are proud that the Koreans, as equal citizens of Uzbekistan, are making a worthy contribution to its development.

- How do you see the significance of the state visit of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the Republic of Korea which began on May 27

- At present, South Korea is promoting the project \"Eurasian Initiative\", which provides for the expansion of cooperation with Central Asian states. For successful implementation of this project help and support Uzbekistan is essentially needed.

In general, for the Republic of Korea, the Republic of Uzbekistan is a very important strategic partner. Our country continuously provide mutual political support. Bilateral trade consistently exceeds 2 billion USD.

Tashkent is the \"linking hub\" between Korea and Central Asia. Weekly 11 direct flights carried out between the two capitals. Even residents of other states of the region are flying to South Korea via Tashkent.

Thus, today the relationship between South Korea and Uzbekistan are a model of mutually beneficial cooperation between the states. I think that state visit of President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov started on May 27 will open new prospects for sustained growth and deepening of the productive cooperation between our countries.

IA \"Jahon\"


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