South Korea celebrated its national day on September 29 with a gala event in Phnom Penh. The event also commemorates the 25th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The reception was attended by more than 400 participants, including Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations Prak Sokhonn.

South Korean ambassador Park Heung-kyeong lauded Prime Minister Hun Sen’s excellent work in restoring diplomatic relations between the two nations in 1997.

He commended the advances in cooperation across the political, economic, development and cultural fields, citing the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two as one excellent example, along with the Preah Ang Duong Hospital and the recruitment of 46,000 Cambodian workers to South Korea.

He noted that the South Korean National Assembly had passed the ratification bill for the FTA this week, and is now looking forward to an increase in trade as a result.

Sokhonn also spoke highly of diplomatic ties between the two countries, noting that Prime Minister Hun Sen had paid fruitful visits to South Korea as recently as February. Despite the global pandemic, the two nations had maintained a strong relationship, with direct flights between the two building on existing person-to-person exchanges. He also hopes that the FTA will be beneficial to both parties.

"Covid-19 has tested our strong solidarity and it has brought us even closer together.

"Our bilateral trade has reached a record high of nearly $1 billion last year and we continue to witness a stable flow of goods and services between our two countries," he said.

Following the opening remarks, a promotional video for Busan’s bid to host the World Expo 2030 was played, followed by a display by the Cambodian Taekwando team. The team was led by master Choi Yongsak, and a donation of martial arts equipment was gratefully received by the Kingdom’s artistes.

The Agri-Food Korea 2022 event coincided with the reception.

It aimed to promote South Korean agricultural products, including traditional liquor and seasonings.

The event was organised by the embassy, the Korea-Trade Investment Promotion Agency and the Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Trade Corporation.