I am glad to see Your Excellency, Prime Minister Hun Sen, again after we met in Singapore last November. I am grateful to you for extending a warm welcome to me and my delegation.
I am pleased that Korea and Cambodia have advanced friendly and cooperative relations to a great extent over the past 20 years since the re-establishment of diplomatic ties in 1997. Last year, trade between our two countries neared US$1 billion, and the number of people-to-people exchanges surpassed 400,000. Many Korean businesses have a presence in Cambodia, contributing to the economic development of our two nations, and some 50,000 Cambodians are residing in Korea. I believe that our relations have the potential to progress even faster going forward.
I express my respect for your implementation of an ambitious national development strategy aimed at Cambodia becoming a high-income country by 2050. All the while, your excellent leadership has enabled Cambodia to unite and maintain high economic growth after overcoming civil war suffering.
Already one of Korea's two major development cooperation partners, Cambodia is also a significant cooperation partner for Korea's New Southern Policy. I hope our two countries will work together to usher in a future of mutual prosperity by harmoniously pursuing Your Excellency's national development strategy and our New Southern Policy.
I am deeply grateful to you for having maintained full support for the peace process on the Korean Peninsula and actively assisted in promoting cooperation between Korea and ASEAN as the Country Coordinator for ASEAN-Korea Dialogue Relations, including our hosting of the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit. I am also grateful to you for proposing the Korea-Mekong summit. I congratulate Cambodia on its scheduled hosting of the ASEM Summit next year, and I wish for its success.
Lastly, I thank you again for taking time out of your busy schedule to host a very pleasant and friendly dinner for me and my wife yesterday evening.