Cote d’Ivoire celebrates Independence Day

On the occasion of the 52nd Independence Day of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, Amb. and Madame Kouasssi Florent Ekra of Cote d’Ivoire held a commemorative reception on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 at the Sapphire Ballroom, Lotte Hotel, Seoul.

Mr. Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani Minister of Animals and Water Resources, and Mr. Rémi Allah‐Kouadio Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development from the Government of Cote d’Ivoire who came to Korea to attend the 2012 Yeosu Expo, also attended the 2012 Cote d’Ivoire Independence Day celebration.

Amb. & Madame Kouassi Florent Ekra of Cote d'Ivoire (second & third from right) greet guests from the front line of the reception.

Despite of summer holiday season, many diplomats of the Seoul diplomatic corp. joined the celebration including Amb. Vitali Fen of Uzbekistan who serves as the dean of the Seoul diplomatic corp., Amb. Rafael Antonio Salazar-Galvez of Guatemala, Amb. Ahmad Al Barrak of Saudi Arabia, and Amb. Tomasz Kozlowski of the European Union. African envoys who showed their solidarity by attending the celebration, included Amb. Ngovi Kitau of Kenya, Amb. Hocine Sahraoui of Algeria, Amb. Albino Malungo of Angola, Amb. Amado Dabo of Senegal and Amb. Hilton Anthony Dennis of South Africa.

On behalf of the Korean government, the 1st Vice Minister Kwak Young-jin of the Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism attended it and delivered congratulatory remarks. Honorary Consul Kim In-geuk of Cote d’Ivoire in Busan greeted guests in the reception line with Amb. & Madame Ekra of Cote d’Ivoire together. During the reception, Cote d’Ivoire cousines and enthusiastic dances entertained guests.

Amb. Ekra of Cote d’Ivoire, second from left, greets Publihser Lee Sang-ki of The AsiaN, right, in the reception.

In his welcoming speech, Amb. Ekra said: “Since 1961, when our ties were established, Korea and Côte d’Ivoire have promoted a reciprocal partnership based on mutual trust and respect”. However, he pointed out that bilateral commerce relations remain at slight level, adding there are not any worries for Korean investors in investing Cote d’Ivoire. Since President Alassane Quattara took office in 2011, infrastructure constructions such as large public works have been carried out under the president’s leadership, he explained.

Vice Minister Kwak Young‐jin said in his congratulatory remarks: “Côte d’Ivoire has abundant oil and other minerals, something that Korea needs, while Korea has highly advanced skills and much experience in the fields of energy and infrastructure construction. These are the area where Côte d’Ivoire has seen a growing demand. Therefore, there is a high potential for further economic cooperation”.

The Korean government is committed to working together with Côte d’Ivoire in building a cooperative and friendly relationship, in the expectation that the county will successfully overcome its challenges, Minister Kwak said. To this end, the Korean Government will actively pursue several programs to share our development experience and increase the number of trainees invited to Korea, he emphasized.

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