Source: the Department of Arts and Culture
Title: SA: Mashatile: Speech by the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, on the occasion of the Republic of Korea National Day Celebrations
Your Excellency, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, Ambassador, Han Soo Kim and madam
Ministers from the government of South Africa
Members of the diplomatic corps
Ladies and gentlemen
The Ministry of Arts and Culture is honoured to represent the government and the people of South Africa at this important occasion of the Republic of Korea National Day Celebrations. We thank His Excellency the Ambassador, Han Soo Kim for extending this invitation. Our participation at these celebrations further indicates the commitment by our government to strength social, political and economic relations between the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Korea.
In particular, our presence here today seeks to strength people to people relations among the various peoples of our countries. It also seeks to deepen our understanding and show appreciation of each others cultures and way of life.
Following the establishment of formal diplomatic relations, social, political and economic relations between our two countries have grown from strength to strength.
Specific areas of cooperation between the South Africa and the Republic of Korea include cultural and tourism links, small, medium and micro-enterprise development, trade as well as science and technology. We are encouraged that Korea is South Africa's fourth largest trading partner and that South Africa is Korea's largest trading partner in Africa currently. As the Department of Arts and Culture we have begun a process to ensure that we formalise our cultural relations through the signing of a cultural agreement between our two countries.
As we engage in the process leading up to the signing of a formal cultural agreement, we will be working closely with our counterparts from the Republic of Korea. This agreement, we believe, will go a long way towards further strengthening people to people relations, and will take relations between the Republic of Korea and South Africa to new and greater heights.
On this important occasion, we once more express our appreciation to the people of the Republic of Korea for hosting our artist during the 2009 Delphic Games, held last month in the beautiful Island City of Jeju. These games which are also referred to as the "Olympics of the Arts", were this year attended by 1 500 artists from 56 countries, competing for glory in eight categories. We are proud that the South African team which participated in three categories won eight silver medals.
We welcome the interest expressed by the International Delphic Council to host the fourth Delphic Games in South Africa in 2011. We have no doubt that the National Delphic Council will present a competitive and compelling bid to host these important games.
His Excellency Ambassador Han Soo Kim, I wish take this opportunity on behalf of the government and the people of South Africa to congratulate the Republic of Korea on being chosen to host the summit of G20 member states to be held in November next year. The hosting of this summit of influential world leaders will no doubt raise the profile of your country as a significant player in the world economic order. We share the views expressed by the President of your country, President Lee Myung-bak, who said recently that: "the hosting of the G20 Summit signifies that Korea, has finally and completely steered itself away from the periphery of Asia to the centre of the world".
We admire and are inspired by your achievements in this regard and we hope to learn from them. We also wish your country well in carrying out its responsibilities as the chair nation of the G20 next year. We are confident that under your chairmanship, the G20 will continue to be an important forum for international economic cooperation. Indeed, we look up to your chairmanship to guide the major economies of the world as they seek to forge compromises in international economic cooperation, mobilise resources for under developed countries and strive for a more balanced and sustainable world economic order.
I also congratulate your country for qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. As South Africa we are looking forward to welcoming you to our beautiful country. We also expect the Korean people to come in their numbers and take time to visit some of our tourists' attractions, many of whom have received international acclaim.
I wish you a happy Korean National Day. May the relations between our two countries continue to grow from strength to strength.