Basseterre, Saint Kitts, March 9, 2023 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) – On March 8th, 2023, the Minister of Foreign Affairs et al of Saint Kitts and Nevis welcomed the visit of Mr. Christopher Koo- Chairman of the Korea International Trade Association and Presidential Envoy of the Republic of Korea. Mr. Koo leads a sixteen-member delegation on a three-day visit to Saint Kitts and Nevis consisting of business CEO’s and high-level directors of Korean institutions.
After an exchange of pleasantries, Mr. Koo addressed The Right Honourable Minister highlighting the forty years of diplomatic relations and the shared values of freedom, peace and prosperity. He expressed his enthusiasm and desire for future relations between the two states to be premised on active engagement. In this context, the Presidential Envoy outlined mutually beneficial initiatives and a willingness to deepen the areas of cooperation with Saint Kitts and Nevis on matters including green and sustainable energy, climate change and climate resilience, human capital expansion, and public health. Mr. Koo referred to the Fellowship for Foreign Medical Professionals Programme under its Global Cooperation Programme and extended an invitation to train and learn in the Republic of Korea. In closing his presentation, the Presidential Envoy introduced South Korea’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo in Busan, Korea, and requested the support of Saint Kitts and Nevis.
The Right Honourable Dr. Douglas, in expressing his gratitude for their visit emphasized the long-standing friendly relations between Saint Kitts and Nevis and the Republic of Korea. The Foreign Minister voiced his delight that The Republic of Korea “saw it fit to engage with Saint Kitts and Nevis” especially having due regard for shared values. Dr. Douglas further shared the government’s vision for a Sustainable Island State which included the transition to renewable energy, infrastructure development, and human capital development, health care and Information and Communication Technologies. Dr Douglas referenced projects such as the Green and Smart Hospital, solar panels and solar energy and as key examples of these pillars in the transition to becoming a sustainable island state.
Finally, the Right Honourable Minister reminded Presidential Envoy Koo of the severe challenges associated with climate change and the inability to address such challenges because the GDP criteria ‘locks out’ Small Island Developing states from accessing necessary concessionary funding. Dr. Douglas reiterated support for the multidimensional vulnerability index (MVI) as a more suitable criterion and requested support in championing the MVI from the Republic of Korea.
After closing pleasantries, Mr. Koo invited The Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas, on behalf of the President of the Republic of Korea to visit the Republic of Korea for the purpose of attending the upcoming high-level meeting slated for August, 2023.
The Foreign Minister was accompanied by Permanent Secretary Kaye Bass, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.