It is my great honor and privilege to convey warm greetings of the People and the Government of the Republic of Korea to the People and Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh on the auspicious occasion of Korean National Foundation Day.
Korea is a country flourished on the belief in the democracy and market economy and has forged close cooperation with the international community. In this globalisation era, consolidating efforts with the international community is indispensable and Korea is committed to the advancement of universal values and norms.
Korea, still remained as a divided country, is pursuing the Peace and Prosperity Policy. Under this policy Korea is promoting exchanges and cooperation with the North Korea, through which we can expect to facilitate reconciliatory process and establish a durable peace regime on the Korean peninsula and beyond.
Korea's economic development started from early 1960s. The GNP in 1960s was less than a hundred dollar per capita. However, an average 9 per cent of annual growth was recorded each year till 1990s. Nowadays Korea, as the 12th largest economy in the world, has got a reputation in the world IT market with its knowledge and skills. Korea has a long-term vision to transform it into a business hub in Northeast Asia to play a bigger role in the international community. Korea is also determined in commensuration with its capability to take a part in the international endeavors to share its knowledge and experience derived from its own development process.
Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1973, the relationship between Bangladesh and Korea has been closely developed in various fields and strong bondages between two nations contributed to the deepening of the mutual beneficial relations not only bilaterally but also in regional and international arenas.
Against this backdrop, I feel very much proud to see that Korea is one of the largest investors in EPZ, creating more than one lakh jobs and has made a significant contribution to the Bangladesh's economy. I hope Korean investment will continue to grow and be conducive to the development and prosperity of our two countries. Even though there were some concerns after MFA era, I believe Bangladesh's garment and textile sectors will succeed to maintain its comparativeness in the world market.
On the part of the development cooperation between our two countries, the Korean Government has put its efforts to extend various cooperative programs and projects since late 1980s. As an effort, Korea has increased the proportion of grant aid and technical assistance in the form of sending experts and receiving trainees and financed EDCF projects amounting to US$125 millions. Many volunteers from KOICA are assiduously working in sharing their experiences and mind with Bangladesh friends. A good number of Bangladeshis are visiting Korea under KOICA programe. I am sure that these kinds of people to people exchange will greatly contribute to the broadening and deepening the mutual understanding and cooperation further.
Recently I had a valuable opportunity to attend the inauguration ceremony of Korea-Bangladesh IT Training Center, which was established under the KOICA sponsorship jointly with Bangladesh Government. I assure that Korea, as one of the leading countries in the ICT industry will continue to support Bangladesh not only in ICT sector but in the fields of education, health, vocational training and information technology, etc.
Our two countries are in the new starting line to expand, deepen and consolidate our relations. Let's keep running to make more bright and prosperous future. I sincerely hope that the existing bilateral relationship would get more tightened and diversified.
I wish all of you every success and happiness.
Ambassador of the Republic of Korea