South Korean president visits Uganda to talk business

AP News
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Posted: May 28, 2016 12:01 PM

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — South Korea's president arrived in Uganda Saturday, the second leg of her Africa tour during which she is promoting business and trade opportunities.

President Park Geun-hye was welcomed at Uganda's Entebbe International Airport by Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa. This is the first visit by a South Korean president since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1963.

Park arrived from Ethiopia, where she addressed the African Union, and will also be visiting Kenya on Monday.

Uganda desperately needs foreign investors to industrialize its economy. President Yoweri Museveni has been targeting Asian countries such as China and South Korea as possible investors in sectors that include mining and agricultural processing.

In an opinion piece published in Uganda's New Vision newspaper on the eve of her arrival, Park said she "intends to further reinforce mutually beneficial economic cooperation" between Uganda and South Korea.

"Based on its own experience, the Korean government is well aware that bold investments in infrastructure construction provide a solid foundation for strengthening economic fundamentals," she wrote. "Also, Korean companies have diverse experiences in infrastructure construction as well as advanced technological expertise. I hope the know-how Korea has accumulated so far will be able to contribute to economic development in Uganda."

Park is expected to meet Sunday with the recently re-elected Museveni, who frequently praises South Korea for its rapid economic progress in the aftermath of colonialism.

Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, is increasingly looking to Asian countries for development partners amid concerns in the West over his human rights record.