Ambassador of South Korea to Egypt, Hong Jin-wook, paid a visit to Upper Egypt governorates of Minya, Assiut, and Sohag from 25 to 28 September to explore possible cooperation opportunities in the region.
During his visit, Hong met with Osama El-Qadi, Governor of Minya; Essam Saad, Governor of Assiut; and Tarek Alfeky, Governor of Sohag, respectively, to discuss ways of cooperation in these regions.
The Korean ambassador briefed the regional officials on the development projects between Korea and Egypt in the framework of “Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership” which was signed during President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s visit to South Korea in 2016.
He added that it is the right time to expand this cooperation to the regional level, especially after Korean President Moon’s visit to Egypt in January this year which led to more cooperation projects, such co-manufactures of K9 self-propelled howitzer, Cairo Metro rolling stocks, and Korea’s participation in El-Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant project.
He also mentioned the joint air show of Korean and Egyptian air forces over the Giza Pyramids.
Ambassador Hong suggested expanding the scope of cooperation between Korea and Upper Egypt governorates in the field of cultural heritage.
He pointed out that a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of cultural heritage between the two countries was signed early this year between the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea and the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt, which includes cooperation in the restoration and development of antiquities as well as public and academic exchange.
Hong expected that cooperative projects in the field of cultural heritage will allow the governorates to take advantage of Korea’s advanced technology in the restoration and preservation of cultural heritage in Upper Egypt.
He noted that the Korean government’s choosing Egypt as a priority partner for official development assistance for 2021-2025 gives an opportunity to increase cooperation in Upper Egypt. He emphasized his country’s willingness to support the ‘Vision 2030’ and ‘Decent Life initiative’, which aims at developing rural areas nationwide.
During his Upper Egypt tour, the South Korean ambassador visited some project sites in which the Korean government has been involved to support education and gender equality.
In Assiut University, the Korean government has implemented the “project of strengthening of the research and educational capacity on advanced technology of Assiut University”. The project aims to contribute in the capacity building of youth and enhance employment in the region.
He watched an edutainment video of the activities conducted at a newly opened Population Awareness Club in Sohag, which is a part of the UNFPA Project for Preventing and Combating Gender-Based Violence funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). The ambassador stressed that the Korean government is keen to cooperate with many stakeholders in achieving gender equality.
He also held press conferences in the three governorates, which served as an opportunity for the Korean diplomats and regional journalists to enhance mutual understanding.