Republic of Korea’s government has reaffirmed its commitment to improving bilateral ties with Nigeria in areas such as cultural orientation, health, economic development, and technological advancement.
Mr Choi Jong Kun, the Republic of Korea’s 1st Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, made the announcement during a news conference with journalists in Abuja.
Nigeria, according to Kun, is a “giant of Africa.”
“We will strengthen relationship on economic area, because, Nigeria provides us with a very vast market. More than half of our foreign construction sale in Africa comes from Nigeria.
“The second area is the trans-national security, especially in the gulf of Guinea, a lot of hijack happens in the gulf, thus, we need to protect our fishing industry in the gulf.
“Another area is, culture and people to people exchange, which will include financing education exchange between universities and students, because, Nigeria offers meaningful African cultures to Koreans and East Asia people
“And as a nation of high technology, we are willing to offer training assistance to future leaders of Nigeria and that is people to people exchange,’’ Kun said.
He said that they would have a cultural delegation from Nigeria tour the US and Korea.
He explained that in December, South Korea would host a Korea-Africa Forum.
“In the Forum, we will have discussions and collaborations in many areas like economic, trade, culture and many others.
“We have founded Korea-Africa Foundation to boost cultural awareness between Africa and Korea. It is devoted to cultural orientation,’’ Kun said.
According to him, technology is an exclusive good that can be transferred, adding that high technology companies from Korea would come and start operation with talented, smart and innovative young Nigerians.
He said Nigerian students could come over to Korea to get high degrees in technology, stressing that Korea had good training courses on high-tech.
On the COVID-19 pandemic, Kun said South Korea had supplied testing kits, face masks and other medical supplies worth over 200 million dollars to about 53 countries in Africa including Nigeria.
He explained that his country followed the principles of 3Ts (Testing, Tracing and Treatment) in addressing the pandemic, adding that the country would soon involve in large production of vaccines.
“The only way to fight the COVID-19 is maintaining the 3Ts and vaccines. Nobody is safe till everyone is safe. So providing vaccines is very important.
“However, we are closely working with the United States and our European partners to build a vaccine factory.
“Already we are the second largest vaccines producers in the world. So we have the capacity,’’ Kun said.