From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti

The Ekiti State Government has sought the support of the government and people of South Korea to explore business opportunities in the Land of Honour that can lead to establishment of cottage industries.

The Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, who made the call while receiving the South Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Kim Young-Chae and other senior officials of South Korean Embassy said Ekiti is open to investment by investors and business corporations from that country.

According to a statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, the Ambassador who was visiting Ekiti for the first time said the state has potentials to be great among the comity of states in Nigeria based on pragmatic leadership enjoyed under Governor Kayode Fayemi.

Mr. Young-Chae and his team were joined on the visit by the Director General of the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs, Prof. Eghosa Osaghae and senior academic staff and students from Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) where the Ambassador came for an event.

Otunba Egbeyemi who received the Ambassador on behalf of Governor Fayemi said South Korea has become a global power in automobiles, electronics, mobile telephony, among others noted that the Ekiti Knowledge Zone established by the Fayemi Administration to build knowledge economy that would lead to creation of jobs and wealth.

The Deputy Governor who explained that the Fayemi Administration has put in place the necessary frameworks for local and foreign investment charged the Ambassador to collaborate with the state government to attract investment into the state to strengthen its economy and boost human capital development.

He said: “There was a time Korea was going through challenges but it has overcome them to become a global player in industry and technology. I believe Nigeria can overcome its challenges and become great like your country.

“We want (South) Korea to help Ekiti in terms of investment. If you have ideas on industries that individuals and corporate organisations can champion and facilitate, we need them in Ekiti.

“It is during trade fairs that we meet people and it is an opportunity and forum for investment opportunities. Kindly furnish us with details on the time for trade fairs in your country and we will be glad to explore them.”

Speaking earlier, the South Korean envoy, Mr. Young-Chae said his country has many business interests in Nigeria cutting across the key sectors because of the deep bilateral relations between both countries.

Mr. Young-Chae who decried the challenges of double taxation faced by South Korean investors in the country added that talks are on with the Ministry of Trade and Investment, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Assembly on how the issues can be resolved.

He disclosed that the Nigeria Korea Investment Forum would be inaugurated in July and would be attended by the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo for the Nigerian and Korean business communities to work on areas of collaboration.

The diplomat who thanked Ekiti people and Nigerians for using South Korean made products especially her Smart Phone products promised to attract investors from his country to the state for optimal economic development.

He said: “On my visit here, I discover that there many many Korean cars like Hyundai and Kia in Ekiti and many Ekiti people use Korean phones and this is very good.

“Ekiti State is quite homogenous, it is peaceful, harmonious and I hope to see continued progress in Ekiti. I hope Ekiti State will be number one in peace, security, economy, education, governance and other sectors.”

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Source: news