Seoul-Islamabad Flight ,Tourism with Buddhists in Particular, Acceleration to Pak Exports -3 Targets of South Korean Envoy

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Islamabad; Monitoring Desk ; Ambassador of South Korea Suh Sangpyo has said that ;

“I have before me three targets,” explained the ambassador adding, “to start Seoul-Islamabad direct flight, enhance tourism particularly for the Korean Buddhists who constitutes 30pc of the population and accelerate Pakistan’s exports to Korea as Pakistan is a big market of Basmati rice and can contribute significantly to revenue generation by exporting rice and agricultural products to Korea.”

He said this at a reception he hosted for a select group of media persons at his residence in Diplomatic Enclave shared his vision of stronger, deeper and closer relations with Pakistan particularly in trade, tourism, business and cultural exchanges.

Ambassador Sangpyo said he was concerned at the import-export imbalance of Pakistan with South Korea and Japan.

For example, he said Pakistan’s exports to Japan are seven-time less than imports from the country.

Similarly, Korea’s giant in telecom player Samsung is earning US$330 million a year by selling its products to Pakistan and in return Pakistan’s exports or access to South Korea market is just nominal.

In energy sector too, five to six Korean companies have invested in power projects in Pakistan, he said adding bilateral relations between Pakistan and Korea are established on basis of mutual respect and friendship since 1960s.

South Korea he said was keen to establish a cultural and religious institution in Taxila and expressed optimism that a large number of followers of Buddhism would love to come to Pakistan and visit, or even stay for a while at Taxila, the cradle of Buddhism, which has a lot to offer.

In the past the Pakistan Government intended to establish a research and meditation center in Taxila to facilitate the followers of Buddhism from all over the world.

However, that project was shelved for some inexplicable reasons, most probably because of the wave of terrorism that was rife a few years back, creating uncertain law and order situation in the country and badly damaging tourism industry.

The ambassador spoke high of the Pakistanis’ contribution in South Korea and said they were quite hardworking and the Korean government valued their contributions to economy, business, medicines and other fields.

Recently, I held a meeting with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Overseas Pakistanis, Zulfiqar Bukhari and discussed the potential of sending the Pakistani workforce to Korea, Ambassador Sangpyo said.

The ambassador who has arrived in December 2020 has become quite familiar in just five month with the Pakistan food, culture and particularly his keenness to learn Urdu language is quite amazing.

Published in Pakistan Observer on 11 April by Zubair Qureshy

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