South Korean Ambassador to Egypt Hong Jin-wook holds a press conference on Sunday to give more details on South Korean President Moon's visit to Egypt- Egypt Today/ Samar Samir
CAIRO - 16 January 2022: South Korean President Moon Jae-in would visit Egypt, the first African country he visits during his presidency, on January 19-20, announced South Korean Ambassador to Egypt Hong Jin-wook in a press conference on Sunday.
President Moon’s visit to Egypt is one of a Middle East trip that include Saudi Arabia and the United Arab of Emirates (the UAE). Mr. Moon’s visit to Egypt is the first in 16 years and comes in light of the partnership that has signed between Cairo and Seoul in 2016, the Ambassador said. This visit was scheduled to be made in March 2021 but it has been postponed due to coronavirus, he continued.
“This visit is significantly meaningful for Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt,” Mr. ambassador said, adding that the visit is very distinguished because two countries of this trip will host the COP 27 ( the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference) and COP 28 in Egypt and the UAE respectively.
Giving more details about the Korean Presidents’s visit to Egypt, ambassador Hong Jin-wook said that President Moon would arrive in Cairo on January 19, 2022 afternoon, and is accompanied by an official delegation besides 40 Korean reporters. On the following day, the activities of the official visit would kick off with a mini-summit with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to be followed by an expanded summit. Later, a press conference to be held for the two presidents. Also, President Sisi would hold a luncheon for President Moon, said Mr. ambassador during the conference.
At noon, a “South Korean-Egyptian Roundtable for Green Industries” would be held to discuss ways of cooperation in green industries in fields of green transportation, especially manufacturing electric vehicles in Egypt and then exporting them abroad, Ambassador Hong Jin-wook added, noting that the two president would witness signing of a number of cooperation agreements in various fields.
Both sides would discuss other ways in enhancing cooperation in the fields of water desalination, electric industry and railway, besides in the ongoing Egyptian national mega project of Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). Ambassador Hong Jin-wook clarified more that a South Korean authority is in discussing cooperating with Russia in establishing the Dabaa NPP, which is scheduled to start this year and would end by 2026.
When it comes to the desalination power plant, he added that South Korea is in discussion with Egypt to cooperate in building the soar-powered desalination water plant.
The Korean ambassador added that Egypt has been elected to be one of the countries that come on the priority of South Korea official development assistance (ODA) for 2021 and 2025.
“If the visit succeeded, South Korea would give Egypt a one-billion-dollar soft loan to Egypt in various projects,” the ambassador said, noting that Korea has cooperation in the railway field as the South Korean Hyundai Rotem is establishing Luxor-Naga Hammadi railway, Upper Egypt. He added that the cooperation in this field would be enhanced via expanding the railway to be from Luxor to High Dam ad then to Aswan.
In terms of digital transformation, the ambassador said that his country has cooperated in transporting the system of patenting into a digital one. “In case the visit succeeded, the cooperation in the field of digital transformation would be optimized outside the framework of the soft loan,” he continued.
Ambassador Hong Jin-wook also said that the two countries are in discussion on using the green hydrogen in several industries, besides working on replacing fuel-powered tugboats of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) with LNG-operated ones. “Egypt seeks to optimize the usage of the renewable energy and in this matter also South Korea seeks to use the sources of renewable energy,” he said. The ambassador continued that both countries are seeking to sign an agreement on establishing a free trade zone in Egypt.
He added that the trade volume between the two countries amounted to $1.8 billion in 2019 while in 2020 it declined to $1.5 billion due Coronavrius pandemic. However, he continued, the period from January to November in 2021 witnessed a significant annual increase, as the volume of trade exchange reached $2.1 billion.
On the military level, the ambassador said that both countries have already cooperation in the military field, noting that there was negotiation during the EDEX 2021 the potential of exporting the Korean K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer to Egypt.
The ambassador also called for more cooperation between the two countries in other fields, especially in the archeology and excavation of antiquities, because this would enhance post-COV9D-19 Korean tourism to Egypt where Korean people visit the places would be discovered in cooperation with their country’s exports.
Culturally, the ambassador said that due to the high turnout of Egyptians who want to study the Korean language, the embassy would establish a new institute for learning the Korean language in another governorate. He added that this year more than 5,000 people in Egypt applied to study the Korean language in the Korean Cultural Center where its capacity could not take more than 1,000 students.