The 13th High Level Forum on Korea-Caribbean Partnerships was held in Seoul, South Korea, and featured participation from Minister Albert Ramdin of Foreign Affairs, International Business, and International Cooperation (BIBIS). Various ministries, Caribbean ambassadors, and members of the South Korean government and business community were present at this forum.The distinguished event has long functioned as a crucial forum for South Korea and the Caribbean nations’ interaction in order to realize their potential for mutually beneficial cooperation. The forum’s three sessions included presentations on climate change, economics, trade and development cooperation between South Korea and the Caribbean.
During his opening speech, South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin emphasized the long-standing and fruitful relationship between South Korea and Caribbean countries. He underlined the opportunities for shared prosperity and growth. Minister Jin also mentioned the pioneering role of the port city of Busan in the economic development of South Korea and its candidacy for the World Expo 2030.
Prime Minister Han Duck-soo highlighted South Korea’s role in the Caribbean through a video message and thanked for the long-term cooperation based on mutual respect, loyalty, shared prosperity, peace and security. In his presentation, Minister Ramdin confirmed the historic relationship between South Korea and the Caribbean. He recalled Suriname’s involvement in the Korean War and emphasized that the relationship goes beyond just political or functional aspects.
The minister made an urgent call on Caribbean countries to take joint action to tackle regional challenges, in which close involvement of the private sector is crucial. Furthermore, Minister Ramdin emphasized the importance of job creation and stable income as essential for development. He stated that technological assistance should be combined with strategic elements such as production centers and capacity building at the national level.
Minister Ramdin invited those present to continue the discussion during the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) conference in May 2024 in Paramaribo. As a show of friendship, the delegation leaders also paid a courtesy call on President Yoon Suk Yeol.
At the end of this meeting, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Suriname and South Korea signed the ‘Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Partnership’ to further concretize the bilateral agenda between both countries.