Assalam Alaikum (Good morning)!
I am truly grateful to President Mirziyoyev and the people of Uzbekistan for warmly welcoming me and my delegation.
I am pleased to see President Mirziyoyev again; he is like a brother to me. Your Excellency is leading Uzbekistan’s new development with reform policies across all sectors, including politics, the economy and society. I sincerely respect President Mirziyoyev who is attracting global attention.
President Mirziyoyev and I agreed to upgrade bilateral relations between our two countries to a special strategic partnership and discussed concrete implementation plans.
First, we agreed to make efforts for the promotion of friendship between our two peoples.
During his visit to Korea in 2017, President Mirziyoyev said that culture is the most important element in bilateral relations because it can bring us closer.
We also reached agreement to expand cultural exchanges and work together to preserve cultural heritage in Uzbekistan, including the Afrosiab mural.
The House of Korean Culture and Arts, which is to open tomorrow, will become a venue for cultural exchanges and a symbol of the friendship between our two countries. I express my appreciation to President Mirziyoyev for attending the opening ceremony with me.
Second, we agreed to continue our efforts to identify and push ahead with concrete, substantive cooperative projects.
We also reached agreement to improve relevant laws and institutions to help further expand bilateral trade, which reached a record high last year. As a first step, the agreement on the promotion and mutual protection of investments as well as the double taxation avoidance agreement were amended, and I hope this will go a long way toward the stable operation of our two countries' businesses.
We concurred on conducting a joint study for the conclusion of a Korea-Uzbekistan FTA and continuing to identify bilateral cooperation models that utilize our two countries' complementary industrial structures.
As part of a joint response to the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we agreed to strengthen cooperation in such new industries as ICT, 5G, big data, artificial intelligence, and healthcare and medical services.
The Korea-Uzbekistan Agricultural Machinery R&D Center, which will open during this state visit, is an excellent example of mutually beneficial cooperation. The Korea-Uzbekistan center for cooperation in healthcare and medical services that our two countries have agreed to establish will help protect the health of the people and serve as a breakthrough for common prosperity.
Third, we concurred on closely working together for peace and prosperity not only on the Korean Peninsula and in Central Asia but also in the whole of Eurasia.
President Mirziyoyev has actively assisted in the Korean Government’s efforts to achieve denuclearization and permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. Moreover, he is leading the efforts for harmony and cooperation in Central Asia. I express my support for this steadfast work toward peace.
Peace is linked to mutual prosperity. We agreed to harmoniously connect Uzbekistan’s regional cooperation strategy for Central Asia with the Korean Government’s New Northern Policy, thereby achieving common prosperity in Eurasia together.
The Korea-Central Asia Cooperation Forum has developed into a good example for multilateral collaboration and will be upgraded to a ministerial-level meeting this year to mark its 12th anniversary. We agreed to work closely together so that this forum can help further expand Korea-Central Asia cooperation.
Today’s summit will become a milestone that presents the direction of our two countries’ development. Expressing my gratitude for your warm hospitality once more, I am looking forward to meeting Your Excellency again in Korea.
Rahmat! (Thank you)