The South Korean president, Park Geun-Hye, was received by the entire Federal Council on the Bundesplatz with military honours. This is the first state visit to Switzerland by a Korean head of state since Switzerland and the Republic of Korea established diplomatic relations in 1963. Switzerland and the Republic of Korea signed several documents.
State visit by South Korean president Park Geun-Hye
Monday, 20.01.2014 Monday, 20.01.2014
The South Korean president, Park Geun-Hye, was received with military honours on the Bundesplatz. The president of the Confederation, Didier Burkhalter, then gave a speech in the Wandelhalle of the House of Parliament. He spoke about the high value Switzerland places on the exchanges between the two countries in particular in the fields of innovation and education: “Innovation is the motor of our two economies and is based on ground-breaking policies in key areas, especially education. Switzerland and South Korea top the list of international leaders in global competitiveness, innovation and quality of life.“
Didier Burkhalter also gave a speech at the Korea-Switzerland Business Forum.
Fifty years of official bilateral relations
In her speech, the president of the Republic of Korea highlighted the special way in which relations between the two countries began. In 1953, some 100 members of the Swiss Armed Forces arrived in war-torn Korea as part of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission on the inner-Korean border. Switzerland and the Republic of Korea established diplomatic relations ten years later. In 2013, the two countries celebrated 50 years of official bilateral relations.
Several official documents signed
During the visit, Switzerland and the Republic of Korea signed several documents with the aim of strengthening bilateral cooperation in the areas of social insurance, the economy, health care and research.
The two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding on institutionalising their political dialogue.
This is the first state visit to Switzerland by a Korean head of state since Switzerland and the Republic of Korea established diplomatic relations.
Swiss policy on Asia
Strengthening contacts with the Republic of Korea – a leading Asian country – is part of Switzerland’s policy on Asia, which has the following priorities:
- further develop Switzerland’s bilateral relations with the states of the region
- enhance Swiss presence in regional forums, and pursue a policy of solidarity with Asian countries