SG Speech 2019-03-09
9 March 2019, Lotte Hotel, Yangon
by H.E. Lee-Hyuk, Secretary General of the ASEAN-Korea Centre
H.E. Thura U Aung Ko, Union Minister for Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture
H.E. U Phyo Min Thein, Chief Minister of Yangon Regional Government
H.E. Lee Sang-wha, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen, Good Morning!
It is my great pleasure to join the Korea Day 2019 held in Yangon. I would first like to convey my deepest appreciation to H.E. Thura U Aung Ko for giving me the opportunity to give remarks at this important occasion. I would also like to congratulate the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism and organizers for successfully holding this meaningful event.
2. Myanmar-Korea Relations
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Myanmar and Korea in 1975, great achievements have been made in many areas of cooperation. The trade volume has increased by 120 percent, reaching USD 1billion in 2018. Also, most well-known Korean companies, such as Samsung, LG and CJ, have their presence in Myanmar. More than 70 thousand Koreans visited Myanmar last year, showing the growing momentum of people-to-people exchanges. The recent ease of visa policies is expected to further promote economic and tourism exchanges between the two sides.
3. Hallyu in Myanmar
The statistics alone do not fully show the depth of cultural proximity we see today between Myanmar and Korea. Such proximity has been partially driven by the Korean Wave, so-called ‘Hallyu’, which has won the hearts of Myanmar people. Korean dramas are shown at prime time through major TV channels in Myanmar, such as MRTV and Myawaddy TV. Today, people can also access Korean media contents through online and DVDs on a real-time basis. For instance, Running Man DVDs are famous for getting sold out as soon as they are released. Moreover, youngsters ordering Korean food such as Tteokbokki (떡볶이) at food courts are an easily spotted scene over the city. The number of K-Pop festivals being held has significantly increased, and signs of Korean Language Academics can be seen at every corner of the block.
As such, the scale and scope of cultural exchanges between Myanmar and Korea have greatly expanded through the Hallyu. In this regard, I believe today’s event timely meets the growing importance of partnership between Myanmar and Korea.
4. ASEAN-Korea Centre and Culture and Tourism Exchange Programs
The ASEAN-Korea Centre has been making efforts to further strengthen partnership between Myanmar and Korea through outcome-oriented programs. This year, the Centre plans to arrange the Fam Tour in Myanmar, bringing Korean media teams to the tourist destinations of Myanmar. Also, the Capacity Building Workshop will be held in Myanmar to strengthen the competitiveness of Myanmar and Korea tourism exchange. These programs aim to provide practical platforms for greater cultural and tourism exchanges between Myanmar and Korea.
In concluding, I would like to once again thank and congratulate Myanmar for holding this important event. I hope all participants enjoy today’s event. Thank you.