Egypt, S. Korea move ahead with cooperation projects, despite COVID-19: Ambassador

Nehal Samir
4 Min Read

Despite the global pandemic, Egypt and South Korea have shown strong determination to continue collaboration and move ahead with the ongoing cooperation plans and projects, according to South Korea Ambassador to Egypt, Hong Jin-Wook.

He told Daily News Egypt that this has been quite apparent with several Korean companies announcing their expansion plans in Egypt, injecting investments in new production lines in the midst of the pandemic, including Samsung and LG Electronics. 

He continued that GS Construction and Engineering was also able to complete Egypt’s largest refinery project in Mostorod with the Egyptian Refinery Company (ERC), with $4.4bn investment, which will help meet half of Egypt’s total needs of diesel. 

“These successes and more were not to be made possible without the effective control of the Egyptian government to the pandemic and the policy measures taken that contributed to the resilience of the Egyptian economy and the promising outlook from all international organizations,” Ambassador Hong assured. 

Talking about the Egypt-Korea collaboration in fighting COVID-19, he said that controlling the pandemic continues to be a pressing need that requires joint collaboration.

He explained that there have been several aspects for Egypt and South Korea coordination efforts to combat this pandemic. 

“In terms of financial support, the Korean government, in May 2020, provided $200,000 to fund emergency health response activities with the outbreak of the COVID-19 in Egypt, which was the first cash support from a development partner country. Korea has also supplied important medical equipment, such as CT scanner and oxygen tank, to help detect and treat COVID-19, equivalent to another $200,000, to New Shalhia Central Hospital in Sharqia governorate as part of our Official Development Assistance (ODA). In August 2020, an additional support of $500,000 worth of medical supplies such as test kits and medical face masks was followed. The supplies arrived in Egypt in two phases: The first batch contained 227 PCR test kits from Kogene Biotech worth $250,000 and the second batch had 223,000 KF94 and 149,000 KF80 medical masks,” he explained further. 

In addition he mentioned that the Korean government has also organized several webinars on multilateral and bilateral levels, extending participation to the Egyptian authorities to share insights and perspectives on the overall management of the COVID-19 in Korea and the policies that should be in place to effectively control the spread of the virus and mitigate the socio-economic impact.

“Recently, we are in discussions with the Ministry of Health for the possible collaboration in joint manufacturing of vaccines, plasma collection centres, research and clinical trials. We held earlier in September a webinar on the health and medical sector with the participation of more than 50 Korean companies, expressing their interest in advancing to the Egyptian medical market to share their expertise and transfer technology in the presence of  Hala Zayed, Minister of Health and Population,” he revealed.

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