President Basescu leaves for South Korea

President Traian Basescu left early on Wednesday, for South Korea, where he will pay a state visit on Thursday, at the invitation of his counterpart Lee Myung-bak.
Basescu will arrive in Seoul around 16:30, local, the difference of time between the two countries is of six hours.
On the official delegation, there are Justice minister Catalin Predoiu, and ForMin Lazar Comanescu. The two ministers will sign on Thursday official documents, on behalf of Romania, with their counterparts in South Korea. Comanescu will sign a social security agreement, and Predoiu a cooperation protocol between the Justice Ministries of Romania and Korea.
According to the Presidential Administration, the visit will reconfirm the importance Romania attaches to its relation with the Republic of Korea, a common declaration is to be signed on the occasion of the visit on raising the bilateral relations at level of strategic partnership.
"The Republic of Korea will become the first strategic partner of Romania in Asia, reconfirming common global interests, and the high level of cooperation between the two states, " said the Presidential Administration.
On the occasion of the visit, President Basescu will attend an economic forum of cooperation Romania-Republic of Korea, to be entered by officials from major South-Korean companies.
The agenda also includes a meeting with speaker of the Korean National Assembly and the head of the Parliamentary Association of Friendship Korea-Romania.
At the end of the visit, President Basescu will meet a delegation of professors and students from the Department of Romanian Language and Literature of Hakuk International University of International Studies.
On March 30, 1990, Romania and the Republic of Korea established diplomatic relations at embassy level.
At presidential level, the contact was set in 1994, when President Ion Iliescu paid a state visit.
In 2005, President Traian Basescu paid an official visit to the Republic of Korea, at the invitation of his counterpart Roh Moo-Hyun. The visit of the president to Seoul was part of the foreign policy strategy of Romania in Asia-Pacific area, it was necessary, thinking that in the past eleven years no Romanian head of state had visited this country.
The main message of the visit of President Traian Basescu was of consolidation of the bilateral links between the two countries, placing emphasis on the rise in direct South-Korean investment in Romania.
The first visit to Romania by a South-Korean president, since diplomatic ties were set between the two countries, is that of Sept 5-7, 2006, when President Roh Moo-Hyun was in Bucharest.
The two heads of state discussed the intensification of cooperation between the two countries, notably in nuclear energy, and in the technical-scientific field, in that of international trade and investment, the mutual cooperation at international level, the situation in the Korean peninsula, taking into account the nuclear programme of North Korea.
The official programme of the South-Korean head of state included meetings with PM Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, Senate speaker Nicolae Vacaroiu, speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Bogdan Olteanu, Korean compatriots from Romania, a meeting of businesspeople from the two countries. A protocol was signed then for the agreement of guaranteeing investment as well as a protocol of understanding for the cooperation of small and medium-sized companies.
Two speakers of the Chamber of Deputies made official visits to Seoul, Adrian Nastase in 1995, and Valer Dorneanu, in 2002.
In 2001, Senate speaker Nicolae Vacaroiu paid an official visit to the Republic of Korea.
In 2002, speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea Park Kwangyong paid an official visit to Romania.
At level of prime ministers, Korean prime minister Lee Soo Sung paid an official visit to Romania, in 1996, at the invitation of his counterpart Nicolae Vacaroiu.
The foreign ministers of the two countries made visits to Bucharest and Seoul respectively, Choi Ho-Joong to Bucharest, in 1990, Adrian Nastase to Seoul in 1991, Mircea Geoana to Seoul in 2001.
The commercial exchanges take place on the basis of a trade agreement, in force since Dec 21, 1990.
In 2007, the Romanian-Korean trade stood at 880.3 million dollars, of which 59.6 million dollars was Romanian export, and 820.7 million dollars Romanian import from the Republic of Korea.
On Dec 31, 2007, South-Korean investment in Romania totaled 151.29 million dollars.
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