Wednesday, 18 October 2006

South Korean parliamentary delegation visits Serbian Assembly

A delegation of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, headed by the Speaker, Lim Chae-Jung, arrived in Serbia today at the start of an official visit.



A delegation of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, headed by the Speaker, Lim Chae-Jung, arrived in Serbia today at the start of an official visit.

The Korean delegation’s host, the Chairman of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Predrag Markovic, met the visitors at Assembly House. The Serbian delegation was made up of the chairperson and member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Gordana Comic and Dragoljub Kojcic, and the chairperson of the European Integrations Committee, Suzana Grubjesic.

Mr Lim is the first South Korean Parliamentary Speaker, and the highest-ranking South Korean official, ever to visit Serbia. The two heads of parliaments expressed their expectation that the meeting would mark the start of wider co-operation between the two countries, marked, according to the two officials, by ‘many similarities’. They also agreed that South Korea and Serbia were resolute in continuing democratic reforms, and solving all outstanding issues with neighbouring countries peacefully. Both nations expressed special enthusiasm for the peaceful resolution of territorial disputes in the region.

The economic relations between the two countries took centre stage at the meeting; both sides agreed that these relations have not yet reached a satisfactory level, with one of the reasons being the lack of movement of people between the countries, the lack of direct contact, and a general lack of awareness of the possibilities for improving economic co-operation. Therefore, as the talks concluded, parliamentary diplomacy should be intensified if general co-operation in all fields is to benefit, since direct contacts and meetings between MPs can serve as a forum for learning much more about avenues open to South Korea and Serbia in building closer relations.

There have as yet not been many opportunities for South Korean businesspeople to become acquainted more closely with the conditions and possibilities for investing into Serbia’s economy, the meeting heard. With this in mind, Mr Markovic underlined that Serbia was open to and interested in large-scale investment, that there were laws defining possibilities for such ventures, as well as that the confirmation of the proposed new Constitution would remove the remaining obstacles to greater investment. He added that it was ‘important for South Korea to invest into special countries, such as Serbia, which are competitive in that they have laws in place that guarantee the security of investment, as well as tax incentives, a skilled workforce, and special status with both the EU and Russia’.



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