I am glad to see you Prime Minister Rutte. First of all, I would like to extend my sympathy to the people of the Netherlands who are suffering shock from the recent shooting.
I am very pleased to see you again following our meeting at the P4G Seoul Summit in May. It is all the more meaningful to hold this virtual summit in the year when we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries.
The Netherlands and the Republic of Korea formed a comprehensive, future-oriented partnership on the occasion of your visit to Korea in 2016. Your attendance in person at the opening ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games lent tremendous support to our hosting the event as a peace Olympics. I am deeply grateful to you and the people of the Netherlands for your unwavering friendship.
The Netherlands is special to Korea. Koreans harbor deep in their hearts the noble sacrifices of Dutch soldiers who fought in the Korean War.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, our two countries have cooperated in various areas. Among European countries, the Netherlands has become the biggest investor to Korea and the third largest destination of Korea’s investments. As evidenced by our trade volume last year increasing more than 20 percent despite the COVID-19 crisis, the Netherlands and Korea have become an important country for each other.
The peoples of our two countries are creative and dynamic. Both countries build upon innovation and the spirit to take on challenges to jointly pioneer cutting-edge industries, such as semiconductors and new and renewable energy. We share the values of democracy, human rights, free trade and multilateralism and work closely together on pending global issues.
I hope that today’s summit serves as an opportunity to take the friendship and trust that the peoples of our two countries have shared for the past 60 years to new heights.