5 January 2018

Zambia: South Korea Invitation

PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has been invited on a State visit to South Korea by his counterpart Moon Jae-in.

The presidential visit to South Korea, a country whose economy accounts for about two per cent of world Gross Domestic Product (GDP), this is an economy currently making progress in converging towards Japanese income levels.

The official State visit is slated to strengthen ties between South Korea and Zambia for the benefit of the two peoples.

It must be acknowledged that the valued relationship between South Korea and Zambia, coupled with the importance attached to efforts to further deepen the economic cooperation between the two countries, roundly necessitated President Moon's extended invitation to President Lungu.

The invitation will enable Zambia to benefit from the robust industrial activities taking place in South Korea considering that the economy of that country was the fourth largest in Asia and the 11th largest in the world.

As a mixed economy, South Korea is famous for its spectacular rise from one of the poorest countries in the world to a developed, high-income country in just one generation.

Zambia was billed to benefit from that country's economic miracle, commonly known as the Miracle on the Han River, which has successfully brought South Korea to the ranks of elite countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the G-20. South Korea still remains one of the fastest growing developed countries in the world following the Great Reascession. It is included in the group of Next Eleven countries that will dominate the global economy in the middle of the 21st century.

With President Lungu's visit to South Korea, Zambia was expected to benefit from that countrty's rigorous education system and its established yet highly motivated and educated populace that was largely responsible for spurring the country's high technology boom and rapid economic development.

With almost no natural resources, South Korea has adapted an export-oriented economic strategy to fuel its economy, and in 2014, South Korea was the seventh largest exporter and seventh largest importer in the world.

Through the visit, the country was billed to benefit from the financial yet positive trends characterizing major economic indicators and economic trends of the economy of South Korea.

Zambia was expected to benefit from the automobile industry, which offers potential of South Korea's major growth and export industries, especially where notes are shared for mutual benefit of the two countries.

What with most of the mineral deposits with the South only possessing an abundance of tungsten and graphite! Coal, iron ore, and molybdenum are found in South Korea, but not in large quantities and mining operations are on a small scale.

Much of South Korea's minerals and ore are imported from other countries. Most South Korean coal is low-grade anthracite that is only used for heating homes and boilers.

As the country embarks on accelerated infrastructure development, construction has been an important South Korean export industry since the early 1960s and remains a critical source of foreign currency and invisible export earnings.

Zambia stands to take share of the economic offerings of that country hence the visit by Mr Lungu can not be in any vain.

Korea's remarkable technological advancements and industrialization which has allowed Korea to produce increasingly advanced military equipment may be helpful to our country that dreams of all round security preparedness.

On the tourism front, Zambia can tap on that country's programme to attract, for instance in 2012, 11.1 million foreign tourists visiting that country, making it the 20th most visited country in the world, up from 8.5 million in 2010.[

Only recently, the number of tourists, especially from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia, had grown dramatically due to the increased popularity of the Korean Wave (Hallyu).

There are many other deals that Government can seal during the visit of President Lungu which are beneficial to development affairs of our country hence the importance of foreign presidential visits remain more than relevant to affairs of Zambia and its national economy.

This space cannot account for all socio-economic opportunities that the foreign visit of our leader to South Korea has to offer.


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