An Interview With H.E. Koo Hyunmo, Ambassador (Korea)

On the special occasion of Bahrain’s National Day, Gulf Insider takes a closer look at relationships between Bahrain and some of its major trading partners.

What are your country’s main trading activities with Bahrain?

According to the Korean statistics, the two way trade volume between the two countries in 2017 reached 682 million US dollars. Bahrain exported 393 million US dollars to Korea and imported from Korea 289 million US dollars. Major export items from Bahrain are petrochemical, aluminum products and crabs while automobile and heavy equipment are the main import items. I predict that the two way volume of trade would exceed 800 mil this year. In addition, the first Bahraini business delegation headed by Mr. Sameer Nass, Chairman of the BCCI, will visit Korea and will hold ‘Bahrain-Korea Business Forum’ in Korea on the 12th November. I believe the Forum will certainly provide momentum and another platform to further facilitate trade activities between our two countries.

What makes your country’s relationship with Bahrain special?

Bahrain and Korea have a long history that can be traced back to more than 4,000 years to the Dilmun civilization of Bahrain and Gochosun of Korea. Geopolitically, our two countries are small nations surrounded by relatively big neighbors. Our two countries do not have abundant natural resources so we have to invest on human capital and education. We are friendly nations to foreigners and other cultures. We also both have the long tradition of respecting the elders and value family. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1976, Bahrain was a gateway for Korean companies to advance to other countries in the region. I hope many Korean companies would come to Bahrain for business opportunities in the future.

Any interesting news, recent or historical, about your country’s relations with Bahrain?

One very symbolic historical episode that attests to the very cooperative relations between Bahrain and Korea is that Bahrain was the first Middle East destination for Korean Air in 1976 and it operated a direct flight until 1998. Unfortunately, since then we don’t have direct flight between our two countries. We attach a great importance on resuming direct flight between our two countries as it would certainly contribute to more exchanges and closer ties.

Any short message for our readers on Bahrain’s National Day?

Taking this opportunity, I wish all the Bahraini people a Happy National Day. Under the wise leadership of HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Bahrain has become an exemplary country in the region where people live together in peaceful harmony regardless of their race, religion and origin. I wish for Bahrain to continue to prosper and for everlasting friendship between Bahrain and Korea!

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