Khartoum - Sudan Vision Managing Editor Muawad Mustafa –Neimat al Naiem Senior reporter paid a visit to the Korean Embassy
in Sudan last Wednesday, to congratulate on the 40th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries, The Korean Ambassador to Sudan, H.E. Lee Ki-seog, highlighted the Sudanese Korean relations in a full text of an interview which will be published in Sudan Vision the coming days.
On the potential of the bilateral relations between the two countries, which began in 1977, the Ambassador said that it had been active in the first two decades; however the relations have became stagnant for two decades since the financial crisis in Korean in 1997. He believes that there still is much more room for further development. He added that they should focus on increasing exchange of visits between the leaders of the two countries, which means exchange visits not only at the governmental level, but also it should involve business, academic and the media and press in particular, added that Korean investment in Sudan dates back to 1977s.
The Korean Ambassador Explained that the trade volume with Sudan is US$ 160 million in 2016, and its exports were US$150 million most of them are automobiles, spare parts and construction equipments, while the Sudanese’ exports are US$10 million represented by minerals like aluminum and copper. The only Korean Company that is directly investing in Sudan is the General Medicine Company, beside cars, mobile phones and electronic appliances.
Meanwhile he described that the people-people exchange between the two countries is not so active at the moment, pointing to few ongoing programmes run by the Korean Government. He explained that they focused much on increasing the cultural exchange between the two countries, noting that they plan to invite a Korean traditional dance performance group to Khartoum next November 2017.
Regarding the economic sanctions imposed by the U.S Administration against Sudan and its impact in improving the economic relations between Khartoum and Seoul, the Korean Ambassador said, it is true that if a certain country becomes subject to the international sanctions, then it negatively affects foreign companies.
He added that there many successful foreign companies in Sudan despite the U.S sanctions, bedside that ‘If the U.S decides to permanently lift the sanctions in October, more Korean companies will have interest in the Sudanese market, the Ambassador said.
Concerning the Korean-Arab Society (KAS), he stated that it plays a bridging role between Korea and the Arab Countries
Kee Li-seog the Korean Ambassador to Sudan described the Sudanese people as one of the biggest reasons for him to enjoy working in Sudan; they are so courteous, well-mannered and hospitable during his 30-years in diplomatic career. He said as he read a book that ‘in Sudan there are polite, self respect, hospitable culture which as he believes a tradition and culture that has continued among the Sudanese people.