Pakistan, Korea forge closer relations
Pakistan-Korea have excellent bilateral relation in the political, economic, trade, cultural, military and educational fields. We have the strength of 36 MOUs and agreements, which is a testimony to the solid foundation of our relationship.
Our relations which were established in 1968 at the consular level and at the Ambassadorial level in 1983, have progressed exponentially in the intervening years in all gamut.
Our bilateral trade which was in the region of 94 million dollars in the 1980s has surpassed $1.55 billion dollars in 2011. Pakistan’s exports being $736 million and Korean export to Pakistan being $819 million dollars.
Some of the most significant investments are the $500 million investment by Lotte Group in chemical plant which was acquired from ICI, to produce Pure Terephthalic Acid (PTA) used in textile industry and subsequent acquisition of a food and beverage company, KOLSON Foods.
Sambu had built the 8.5 Km Lawari tunnel and is participating in the 84-megawatt New Bong Hydro Power project in Azad Kashmir.
A consortium of K-Water, Sambu and Daewoo E&C, have started work on the 150 MW Patrind run of the river Hydro Water Project.
Korean companies have expressed their interest to participate in numerous other Hydro power projects in Pakistan.
Doosan Heavy Industries and construction co has completed the combined cycle power plant of 175 megawatts worth $160 millions.
Ssangyong E&C has completed work on reinforcing old ports and construction of docks and subsidiary facilities at Karachi port. Currently, it is working on the $90-million project on reconstruction of berth in Karachi.
The DeokJae Construction Ltd has nearly completed the Mirpurkhas- Hyderabad 64 km dual carriageway public-private partnership project by Sindh government.
POSCO, Steel giants have invested in Tawariqi Steel in Karachi, a $260 million dollars project in which 15 million dollars have been invested by POSCO.
They have also expressed their interest in the $174 million Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (handling coal, clinker) at Port Qasim.
Many high level visits have taken place from Pakistan to Korea in the past which include two president and three prime Ministers.
In 2011, the Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Qasim Ali Shah visited Seoul, heading a 30 member delegation from Sindh Board of Investment, who had fruitful meetings with Korean counterparts.
The visit of Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani to participate in the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit from March 26-27, during which he will also meet the Korean conglomerates will provide further impetus to trade and economic activities.
The Federal Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Amin Fahim along with a delegation of 10-12 members is also expected to visit Korea from April 25-30. Pakistan will also participate in the Yeosu Expo-2012 from May-August in Yeosu town.
There exists a Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) which encompasses all areas of political, economic, trade, educational and cultural relations. The Bilateral Policy Consultation is another forum to foster our linkages. Talks are held regularly between the Foreign Secretary of Pakistan and the Vice Minister of Korea. The last talks were held at Seoul on Nov.18, 2011.
The Pakistani community in Korea is 10,341 which include workers, businessmen, professionals and students.
A number of Pakistanis have been here for the last 20 years and established their own business in South Korea.
The number of workers are 4,700 and students are 513.
The Pakistani community is very active and engaged in promoting Korea-Pakistan relations. They participate wholeheartedly in the economic development of Korea.