Sylvestre Kouassi Bile, Cote D’Ivoire ambassador to the Republic of Korea, during a recent interview ahead of the country’s Republic Day on August 7. Photo by Yeo Hong-il/Korea News Plus

H.E. Sylvestre Kouassi Bile invites Korean firms to the Ivorian country

Sylvestre Kouassi Bile, Cote D’Ivoire ambassador to the Republic of Korea, hoped that the two countries will double the bilateral trade volume in years to come.

He made the remarks in a recent interview ahead of Cote d’Ivoire’s Republic Day, which falls on August 7 this year.

“The volume of trade between Korea and Cote d’Ivoire nearly doubled from $120 million in 2012 to $230 million in 2015,” Bile said.

“The outlook is good, and we believe bilateral trade will continue to grow over the years to come, and we hope to double this volume in the near future.”

On top of trades, the ambassador pointed out that a mounting number of Korean corporations tapped into the Ivorian economy.

“Korean companies are gaining popularity in Cote d’Ivoire. Their presence in my country is remarkable by their proven expertise in the areas where they are already involved, such as power plants construction, roads infrastructures, digital economy, and eventually construction of hydroelectric dams and bridges,” he said.

“Korean companies such as Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), Halla CorporationSamsung C&T, Jaewon Industrial, and Dongsan Engineering are actively engaged in the promotion of economic cooperation between Korea and Cote d’Ivoire.”

The diplomat said that Cote d’Ivoire, one of the most prosperous economies in Africa, has so many advantages as an investment destination, including its strategic location, refined infrastructures, and energy self-sufficiency, to name but a few.

In addition, the country is the continent’s foremost producer of many agricultural products like rubber, cashew nuts, cotton, coffee palm oil, bananas, pineapples, and cola.

Bile also pointed out that Korea’s New Village Movement, otherwise known as Saemaul Undong, has offered a good development model to Cote d’Ivoire.

The movement started in 1970 to modernize the rural South Korean economy. It was one of the most successful initiatives in the country during the 1970s.

“I would also like to salute the Seamaul Undong movement, which has enabled several villages in Cote d’Ivoire to embrace the spirit of mutual aid and especially self-development without the help of the Central State, and this was possible thanks to the support from the Korean NGO Saemaul Globalization Foundation,” he said.

See the full text at the Korea News Plus article on July 20. _ ED.