© Guardian photo by Heather Taweel
H.E. Cho Hee-yong, left, ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Canada, and Dr. Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, president and vice-chancellor, University of P.E.I., exchange cards as the ambassador’s wife, Yang Lee, looks on. The ambassador and his wife visited UPEI on Thursday where they met with university officials and students.
The South Korean ambassador to Canada says he would like to see more trade, export and student exchanges between Korea and Prince Edward Island.
Hee-yong Cho is visiting P.E.I. this week and is meeting with a number of provincial officials to explore opportunities that could be mutually beneficial to both the Island and South Korea.
He said he is focused especially in areas of trade, energy and people-to-people exchanges.
“I’d like to further expand our bilateral trade between this province and South Korea,” Cho said.
“I also understand there are many Korean students in the university and other institutions (in P.E.I.). With more people-to-people exchanges, especially among young people, this will definitely play a constructive bridging role between our two countries in the years to come. So it’s a very good area to be further promoted.”
The main purpose for Cho’s visit is to honour Korean War veterans in P.E.I. with medals proclaiming them “ambassadors of peace.” This is being done as part of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and Korea and the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice.
Speaking to a group of students and members of the public Thursday at UPEI, Cho expressed his deep appreciation and thanks to the Canadian public for remaining allies with his country for so many decades.
“As a result, Korea has been able to flourish,” he said.
Given the long history of co-operation and positive relations between the two nations, the ambassador said is optimistic about prospects for increased collaboration.
“I would be very happy to find some more untapped opportunities,” he said.
Edward Chung, president of the P.E.I. Korean Association, said Cho’s visit to the Island helps the growing number of Koreans living in P.E.I. know they have support from their home country.
“They are happy are happy that the ambassador is here and they are happy to hear the ambassador will keep supporting Korean communities in all places in Canada,” Chung said.
“I too am very pleased to hear that.”
Cho is meeting today with Premier Robert Ghiz, several provincial cabinet ministers and with Lt.-Governor Frank Lewis before the Korean War commemoration and medal ceremonies get underway this afternoon in Charlottetown.