Speech By H.E. Cho Won-ho Vice President of KOICA at 8th CAMKAA Annual Reception on December 11, 2009

Your Excellency Doctor Mam Bunheng, Minister of the Ministry of Health,

Your Excellency Lee Kyung-soo, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea,

Prof. Chhour Y Meng, President of the Cambodia Korea Alumni Association (CAMKAA) and the Director of National Pediatric Hospital,

Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honored to be invited this evening to speak on this happy occasion of the 8th Annual Reception of the Cambodia Korea Alumni Association (CAMKAA).

Let me first extend my warmest greetings to all of the Cambodian friends and also the Korean colleagues who gathered here all together

As many of you are well aware, KOICA as a bilateral grant agency of the Korea government under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade was established in 1991 for the purpose of constructing a human society in which we can live better together. KOICA Cambodia office was established September, 2003 to enhance and efficiently implement the cooperation programs with your great country of Cambodia.

Especially, KOICA’s Development Cooperation Programs have made a significant contribution in human resources development, with a total of 1,452 Cambodian participants invited to Korea from 1994 to 2009 for various training and study courses. For Korea’s experience shows that the most important way for developing a country’s social-economy is to focus on HRD, these HRD programs, I believe, should be more strengthened.

All of KOICA fellows present today are witnesses to the value of these cooperation programs and human resources development, having visited Korea and shared with Korea’s economic, industrial, technological and management experience and expertise, as well as having had the opportunity to glimpse the history and culture of the country and its people. You have all become dear friends of Korea by playing an invisible, but important role in linking our two countries closer together.

I hope that the new knowledge and skills you acquired in Korea will enable you to perform your duties in government service more efficiently.  Thus, you can be more capable agents of nation-building in your country. In doing so, you continue to uphold the tradition of friendship and collaboration between our two countries.

Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year marks an important milestone for our bilateral relations. H.E. Lee Myung-bak, President of Korea paid a state visit to the Kingdom of Cambodia last October with a great success. I have high hopes that this year and in the year to come will be a new turning point in our ever expanding friendly relations.

It is a source of my pride and satisfaction to note that since the re-establishment of diplomatic ties between the Republic of Korea and the Kingdom of Cambodia in 1996, our two countries have continued to develop an ever-increasing cooperation relationship, as one of Cambodia’s best friends, has made every effort to help Cambodia’s development through ODA in terms of grant aids and soft loans.

In particular, the current grant aids by Korea to Cambodia focuses on the poverty reduction and the improvement of economic and social infrastructure, based on Korea’s experience of overcoming poverty and economic development.

Also in 2008, KOICA grant aid volume for Cambodia was ranked number one compared with partner countries through ODA in terms of grant aids, and it was over 13 million dollars. It is my firm conviction that every and each one of you here is playing an essential role in further consolidating our existing development cooperation partnership through your close working relationship with KOICA.

I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate KOICA’s strong commitment to vigorously contribute to the economic development of Cambodia and the prosperity of Cambodian people despite worldwide financial crisis and Korea’s economic downturn.

Looking forward to our continued cooperation, I wish to extend my sincere thanks to Prof. Chhour Y Meng for his excellent leadership of the Cambodia Korea Alumni Association (CAMKAA) and to pay my great tribute to Your Excellency Doctor Mam Bunheng for his affectionate efforts to further develop the bilateral relations between our two countries.

I hope that this evening’s reception will be a reminder of good memories of your visit to Korea.

I would like to wish Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, a happy and prosperous new year.

(Thank you very much!)

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