Busan City Mayor Park Heong-joon embarked on a strategic visit to Tunisia from May 8 to 10, as part of South Korea’s broader initiative to cultivate relationships with Africa. Tunisia, positioned at the nexus of North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, is poised to play a pivotal role in fostering collaboration between South Korea and the African continent.
During the visit, Mayor Park led a high-level delegation, which included officials from Busan City, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the 2030 Busan World Expo Bid Support Team, Busan Chamber of Commerce, 15 Busan-based enterprises, Busan Economic Promotion Agency, and Busan Techno Park. The delegation explored avenues to bolster bilateral collaboration and shared insights on the significance of the 2024 Korea-Africa Special Summit and the bid to host the 2030 Busan World Expo.
The agenda also encompassed the 2nd Korea-Tunisia-Africa Forum and a Business-to-Business (B2B) consultation event, culminating in the signing of three Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) aimed at promoting economic collaboration between the nations. In dialogue with esteemed Tunisian officials, including Prime Minister Najla Bouden, Mayor Park scrutinized South Korea’s methods and initiatives for promoting dynamic collaboration with the African continent.
Tunisian authorities expressed enthusiasm for drawing on South Korea’s developmental expertise, underscoring the potential for increased collaboration across diverse sectors. They also suggested a trilateral cooperation framework encompassing South Korea, Tunisia, and other African countries to fortify mid- and long-term partnerships.
Subsequent to the MOU signing, the participating trade delegation companies reportedly held 110 business consultations and secured contracts valued at approximately $4.5 million. The delegation also engaged in dialogue on an array of subjects, such as enhancing amicable relations between the two countries, strategizing entry for South Korean companies, expanding development cooperation, and fostering collaboration in avant-garde domains like hydrogen economy and information and communication technology.
Mayor Park expressed optimism about the outcome of the visit, stating, “This mission to Tunisia has established a solid foundation for South Korea and Busan City to engage in substantive cooperation with Africa. I am confident that both South Korea and Tunisia will cultivate a sustainable and genuine partnership, grounded in a shared long-term vision.” He also vowed to continue showcasing Busan’s allure and capabilities as a contender for the 2030 World Expo to Tunisia and other African countries.