Statement delivered by Senator the Honourable Dennis Moses, Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs at the reception to celebrate the National Foundation Day of the Republic of Korea.

4 October 2017

Good evening.

The National Foundation Day of Korea celebrates the legendary birth of ancient Korea. This commemorative day provides the opportunity to reflect on Korea’s beginnings and to appreciate the country’s progress. On this occasion, it is indeed my pleasure on behalf of Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley and the Government and People of Trinidad and Tobago to extend best wishes for the continued advancement and continued well-being of the Republic of Korea.

It will be remiss of me not to acknowledge the challenges that Korea currently faces in its proverbial backyard. Your Excellency, let me assure you that Trinidad and Tobago stands in solidarity with Korea and will continue to play its part, even if small, in the peaceful resolution of the on-going situation on the Korean peninsula.

Despite domestic concerns, Korea has not neglected its friendship with Trinidad and Tobago, which had its formal beginning over thirty years ago. Instead, both countries have sought to build a stronger relationship primarily through people-to-people, technical, educational and cultural exchanges.

This year featured significant official interactions between Trinidad and Tobago and Korea. One of my colleagues recently participated in the Korea-Latin America and the Caribbean Future Cooperation Forum held in Korea. A few months earlier, in February 2017, a delegation led by the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Korea visited our country to engage in dialogue with its counterparts from the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago. 

In February of this year as well, we saw the hosting of the Inaugural Korea-CARICOM High-Level Meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica. This event facilitated dialogue on future cooperation between Korea and members of the Caribbean Community on regional and global affairs and saw the participation of fourteen (14) Member States, including Trinidad and Tobago. This country was also represented at a workshop on the development of small and medium enterprises held in December 2016 under the nascent CELAC-Korea Forum. 

Your Excellency, Trinidad and Tobago remains committed to supporting existing initiatives between our two countries. Korea continues to offer technical expertise and education opportunities to Trinidad and Tobago. This year, yet another national of Trinidad and Tobago joined others pursuing tertiary studies in Korea, most of whom would have been awarded scholarships from the Korean Government.

Recently, Trinidad and Tobago has been involved in negotiations with Korea on a Double Taxation Agreement.

Further, the Korean Embassy has maintained its cultural diplomacy activities, such as the ongoing Korea Week that will highlight different aspects of the Korean experience. The Trinidad and Tobago public also enjoyed the musical performance by Korean pop group Queen in May of this year and I am certain we will appreciate tonight’s showcase by the Seoul Flute Choir.

As I conclude, I wish to share a Korean proverb that states, “Starting is half the task.” Your Excellency, Trinidad and Tobago and Korea can boast that we not only began new initiatives but also advanced existing ones, all redounding to the benefit of our countries.

Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen, 

I thank you and do enjoy the rest of the proceedings

View statement document- Statement by Sen. the Hon Dennis Moses- Reception for the National Foundation Day of KoreaOct17