Lyeo Woon-ki, the Director of Korea-Africa Foundation has disclosed that Nigeria has overhauled her African counterpart, South Africa as the major business partner of the Republic of Korea in Africa.
Lyeo, who disclosed this in Abuja at a media conference said the trade between Nigeria and Korea was at the region of two billion Dollars in 2021 but the current figures presented show that trade volume for 2022 has reached over $1.5 billion as of June this year which tops the trade volume between Korea and South Africa.
In his words, Lyeo said: “The trade volume between Nigeria and Korea is bigger than between Korea and South Africa. In 2021, the figure was around $2 billion and by the half of this year, the figure has gone beyond $1.5 billion. All of these happened despite the COVID-19 pandemic and limited trading. We are sure it will be about two billion dollars by the end of the current year. The balance of trade between both countries is almost equal.”
He further added that the Korea-Africa Foundation was established to promote a business and cultural bond between Korea and Africa.
Lyeo however that although Koreans are keen on coming to Nigeria for their trade and other cultural activities, the news about the state of the nation (Nigeria) is disappointing.
“Unfortunately, the news out there about Nigeria portrays the country as a dangerous place to live. However, my experience is completely different from what I read before coming. I have met a lot of Nigerians these last few days since I came into the country and I can say they are warm and receptive people. Nigeria needs to do a lot more to portray the image of Nigeria abroad,” Lyeo lamented.
Lyeo also disclosed that the Korea-Africa Foundation will cooperate with the Nigeria Chamber of Commerce and Industry with a prospect of strengthening the trade bond between the two countries.
Kim Young-Chae, the ambassador of Korea to Nigeria, also applauded the Nigerian youths as being energetic and technologically inclined.
“Last year, the embassy here in Abuja sponsored some children to Lagos to interact with Korean companies such as LG and Samsung to see first-hand what they do. We want Nigerian youths to understand our culture while their counterparts also understand the culture of Nigeria.
This will foster understanding and cooperation between the people of both countries. We are going to replace that this year as part of efforts to showcase what the embassy of Korea is doing here in Nigeria,” Young-Chae added.
Young-chae also announced that Nigeria and the Korean Republic are working on signing a military deal to improve the issues of insecurity in Nigeria.
“Korea has emerged as one of the strongest military formations in the world. The feat was achieved basically as a survival strategy because of the nature of our existence. I think it will be good if Nigeria and the Korean Republic strike an agreement on military cooperation. Indeed, the Nigerian Minister of Defence had paid a visit to Seoul recently in that regard. I hope this is done very soon as Nigeria continues to battle Boko Haram and banditry,” Ambassador Young-Chae said.