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KOR

Press Releases

Special Envoy Won Yoo-chul Attends the Inauguration Ceremony for Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and Holds a Meeting with the Guatemalan President

Date
2016-01-17
hit
6396

1. Floor leader of the ruling Saenuri Party Won Yoo-chul, who is on a visit to Guatemala in his capacity as special envoy to the inauguration of Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales, attended the inauguration ceremony for the new Guatemalan President and a congratulatory reception on January 14. On January 13, he also attended a welcoming reception for delegations to the inauguration, hosted by the outgoing Guatemalan President.

2. On January 15, the day after the inauguration, special envoy Won Yoo-chul, together with members of his delegation, held a separate meeting with President Morales and delivered a letter from President Park Geun-hye. He also expressed the willingness of President Park and the ROK government to increase substantive cooperation between the two countries in a diverse range of areas.

o Special envoy Won expressed appreciation to the Guatemalan government for issuing a statement strongly condemning North Korea’s fourth nuclear test immediately after the test. Special envoy Won also requested the Guatemalan government’s interest and cooperation to promptly enact an alternative law to the Maquila Law, which is one of the top priorities for the Korean textile companies.

o Special envoy Won asked the Guatemalan government to play a constructive role in concluding the ongoing FTA negotiations between the ROK and Central America in a mutually-beneficial way as early as possible.

3. President Morales reaffirmed Guatemala’s firm support for the ROK’s position on the North Korean nuclear issue. He agreed on the importance of signing an FTA between the ROK and Central America as soon as possible, and hoped that following the signing of the FTA, the ROK and Guatemala will expand cooperation in areas where the ROK has competitive advantages, including IT, education and industrial capacity-building. He also promised to pay attention to the swift enactment of an alternative law to the Maquila Law.

4. Special envoy Won and members of his delegation held a luncheon meeting with chairman of the Guatemala-ROK parliamentarians' friendship association Julio López. In the meeting, special envoy Won took note of the expanding exchanges between the parliaments of the two countries, and hoped that with the latest launch of the new parliament in Guatemala, the parliaments of the two countries will further enhance exchanges and cooperation. Special envoy Won also hoped that lawmaker Julio López will play a constructive role in ensuring that an alternative to the Maquila Law is passed by the Guatemalan legislative body as early as possible.

5. Lawmaker López promised to actively work, as chairman of the Guatemala-ROK parliamentarians’ friendship association, towards the prompt enactment of an alternative law to the Maquila Law, which has a significant impact on the Korean businesses in Guatemala. He also showed a lot of interest in introducing the Saemaul Undong Project for rural economic development in Guatemala, and hoped that the ROK government will cooperate with Guatemala for the project.

6. Furthermore, special envoy Won and members of his delegation held a meeting with representatives from the Korean community in Guatemala. In the meeting, special envoy Won spoke highly of the important role which the Korean community, as a model member of the Guatemalan society, is playing in developing the country despite many difficulties, including unstable security and economic downturn, and asked the Korean community to actively contribute to advancing the ROK-Guatemala relations. He also visited a Korean apparel manufacturing company doing business in Guatemala, made a tour of its production facilities, and offered encouragement to its employees and related officials.

7. Since establishing diplomatic relations in 1962, the ROK and Guatemala have been developing friendly relations in various areas, including politics, economy and development cooperation. Special envoy Won’s latest visit to Guatemala served as an opportunity to consolidate substantive cooperation between the ROK and Guatemala with the launch of the new government in Guatemala, as well as to reaffirm the new Guatemalan government’s support for the ROK’s position on the North Korean issue. The visit also provided an opportunity to raise the Guatemalan side’s interest in difficulties facing the Korean companies in Guatemala, and to strengthen the foundation for cooperation.


*unofficial translation