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Envoy lauds ‘comprehensive’ Amman-Seoul ties as embassy marks national day

By JT - Oct 02,2019 - Last updated at Oct 02,2019

Lee Jae-wan

AMMAN — South Korea is, as always, ready to share the knowledge and experiences it has acquired in order to help boost development in Jordan, which is a safe hub for investments and a gateway to regional markets, said South Korean Ambassador to Amman Lee Jae-wan on Tuesday. 

"We have great and friendly relations with Jordan and we are keen on placing our expertise at the disposal of Jordan… We are actively engaged in several development projects in Jordan, and we will continue," the ambassador said an in interview with The Jordan Times ahead of South Korea’s national day, which the embassy will mark on Wednesday.

Since the initiation of diplomatic ties in 1962, South Korea and Jordan have forged a “comprehensive and friendly” cooperation, he said.

"On the political level, we have been enjoying excellent relations crowned by several high-level visits… and we believe there is a large room for increasing cooperation in the field of trade and other areas," said the Korean diplomat.

South Korea, he said, has been conducting various projects and programmes in the areas of education, health, water management and e-administration, among others.

"We are happy to see that the Korea-funded Jordan Korea Technology Institute in Zarqa has cultivated approximately 12,000 highly skilled industrial workers that are immediately needed by the labour market in Jordan," he said.

"Korea will continue its support of projects in vocational education and training, such as the project for constructing a specialised industrial school in Zarqa," Lee added.

During the interview, the ambassador indicated that many Korean companies are investing in Jordan, using their cutting-edge expertise to contribute towards fulfilling major national tasks.

The Korea Electric Power Corporation built two natural gas power generating plants in Al Manakher and Al Qatrana, which are currently producing approximately 24 per cent of Jordan’s total electricity. 

The company is also currently conducting two wind power plants in Fujeij and Tafileh.

On tourism, the ambassador said the number of Korean tourists visiting Jordan is on the rise.

"Jordan has recently become one of the favourite tourist destinations for Koreans. The number of Korean people visiting Jordan reached approximately 32,000 last year. With the recent availability of direct charter flights from Seoul, I expect the figure to be greatly increasing soon," he said.

Lee highlighted the need for more efforts to promote tourism and joint business and trade activities, which will help increase trade exchange between the two countries, which reached around $600 million in 2018.

"The good news is that Jordan's exports to South Korea reached $65 million by the end of August, increasing by around 150 per cent when compared to the same period of last year," said the ambassador.

Recognising Jordan's role in the region, he said: "The Government of the Republic of Korea highly appreciates the leading role His Majesty King Abdullah has played in the peace process and the fight against terrorism and violent extremism in the region and beyond."

"We also commend the Kingdom’s continuous efforts to address the Syrian refugee crisis even as it faces various difficulties internally and externally. We will be firmly committed to Jordan in our support of resolving the refugee issue," he added.

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