The ambassador met with Minya Governor Osama El-Qadi, Assiut Governor Essam Saad, and Sohag Governor Tarek Mohamed El-Feky.
During the meetings, Ambassador Hong discussed the developments in bilateral relations between Korea and Egypt as part of the comprehensive cooperative partnership signed between the two countries during President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s visit to Korea in 2016.
“It is the right time to expand cooperation amid the excellent relations we have seen from [Korean President Moon Jae-in’s] visit to Egypt in January this year,” the ambassador said, while highlighting that Egypt and Korea have cooperated on projects including the manufacturing of K9 self-propelled howitzers, rolling stocks for the Cairo Metro, and Egypt’s Dabaa nuclear power plant project.
The ambassador also suggested expanding the scope of cooperation between Korea and Minya, Assiut and Sohag in the area of cultural heritage, highlighting that a memorandum of understanding on this front was signed earlier this year between the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea and the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt. The MoU includes cooperation in the restoration and development of antiquities as well as academic exchange.
Ambassador Hong said he expects that cooperative projects in cultural heritage will allow the governorates to take advantage of Korea’s advanced technology in the restoration and preservation of the diverse cultural heritage in Upper Egypt.
Hong noted that the Korean government’s choice of Egypt as a priority partner for official development assistance for 2021-2025 presents an opportunity to increase cooperation in Upper Egypt. He emphasised his country’s willingness to support Egypt’s Vision 2030 and its Decent Life initiative, which aims to develop rural areas nationwide.
During his Upper Egypt tour, the ambassador visited project sites where the Korean government is cooperating with the governorates to enhance education and gender equality.
The ambassador visited Assiut University, where the Korean government has implemented a project to strengthen the university’s research and educational capacity with regards to advanced technology. He said he expects the project will contribute to enhancing the youth’s capabilities and their employment opportunities.
Hong also watched an edutainment performance by young people at the newly opened Population Awareness Club in Sohag, which is part of the UNFPA Project for Preventing and Combating Gender-Based Violence, funded by KOICA.
“The Korean government is keen to cooperate with many stakeholders in achieving gender equality,” Hong said.