Thank you President Alvarado. We meet again after seeing each other at the P4G Seoul Summit this past May. It is my pleasure to meet the leaders of the SICA member states and Secretary General Cerezo. I am pleased that this Korea-SICA Summit is being held in a year that is so meaningful in many ways – the 200th anniversary of the independence of Central America, the 40th anniversary of Belize’s independence, the 30th anniversary of the launch of SICA and the 35th anniversary of the Central American Peace Accords.
Koreans are so passionate and dynamic that they are called the Latinos of Asia. Though Korea is on the opposite side of the earth from SICA’s members, our peoples are close emotionally. We have always prevailed over various challenges together with a positive mindset over the past 25 years since our inaugural summit. Korea became a non-regional SICA observer in 2012 and is the first Asian country to conclude FTAs with five Central American countries. In August, Korea will become a permanent board member at the Central American Bank for Economic Integration. I am very pleased to see Korea joining SICA’s pursuit of common prosperity.
Even amid the COVID-19 crisis, Korea and SICA practiced solidarity and cooperation by sharing epidemic prevention and control supplies and related experiences. Now, we intend to further broaden the horizon of our cooperation and solidarity. Korea actively supports the effort by SICA members to achieve regional integration and sustainable economic progress by establishing stable governance. I look forward to Korea and SICA also further expanding inclusive and future-oriented cooperation.