El Salvador foreign minister Alexandra Hill Tinoco speaks in an interview with The Korea Herald at Shilla Hotel in Jung-gu, Seoul, on Thursday.(El Salvador Embassy in Seoul)
El Salvador hopes to consolidate ties with the Korean government under President Yoon Suk-yeol and redirect the relationship toward a win-win interaction, said El Salvador Foreign Minister Alexandra Hill Tinoco during an interview with The Korea Herald on Thursday.
The two countries could cooperate in technological innovation, energy, urban development, health and environmental sustainability, said Hill Tinoco, who was on a ministerial tour across Asia to consolidate relations with strategic partners.
“El Salvador looks forward to strengthening bilateral ties with South Korea laying foundations for greater collaboration in trade and investments,” said Hill Tinoco.
During her visit, the first by an El Salvadoran foreign minister since 2011, she had high-level meetings with her South Korean counterpart, Park Jin, and discussed bilateral, regional, and multilateral interests, and mechanisms to enhance bilateral cooperation.
El Salvador Embassy Minister counselor Marcela Alejandra Garcia Sosa shows Namsan Namsan Tower or Seoul Tower visible from the Shilla Hotel in Seoul to El Salvador foreign minister Alexandra Hill Tinoco during an interview with The Korea Herald at Shilla Hotel in Jung-gu, Seoul, on Thursday.(Sanjay Kumar/The Korea Herald)
In particular, El Salvador is working to make the country a regional logistics hub, she said, and stressed the need to learn from Korea.
“Korean expertise is essential to achieve and accelerate El Salvador’s national logistics transformation,” said Hill Tinoco.
She encouraged Korean companies to participate in the planning, construction and operation of large-scale initiatives that would help improve El Salvador’s connectivity, operate new technologies and construct smart cities.
Korean companies recently have been involved in public works such as Acajutla Port, the Pacific Airport, the Pacific Train, the San Salvador Subway and the construction of different highways, Hill Tinoco said.
The two countries have also worked together to strengthen technological and research capacities to guarantee food security, sustainability of ecosystems and use of natural resources, and strengthening of digital governance and support for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, she added.
El Salvador foreign minister Alexandra Hill Tinoco speaks in an interview with The Korea Herald at Shilla Hotel in Jung-gu, Seoul, on Thursday.(Sanjay Kumar/The Korea Herald)
The trip comes as the two countries celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic ties. It is seen as a stepping stone to outline the future direction of diplomatic relations to amplify the Korean presence in El Salvador and the Latin American region for implementing new and innovative complementary initiatives.
“El Salvador will remain committed to ensuring tangible and sustainable achievements over the next 60 years of diplomatic relations,” the minister said, adding that El Salvador would build relations with strategic allies with Korea to face global and regional challenges.
During her visit, she also met Export-Import Bank of Korea President Yoon Hee-sung, Global Green Growth Institute Chairman Ban Ki-Moon, and the Samsung Electronics representative for Salvadoran priority projects.
The foreign minister also toured Samsung Digital City and Samsung Innovation Museum to promote technological capacity-building opportunities for the young Salvadoran population.
By Sanjay Kumar ([email protected])