Islamabad: Minister of Energy Mr. Muhammad Ali attended the event of “40 Years of Friendship-Past, Present and Future between Republic of Korea and Pakistan” as chief guest today at Marriot Hotel Islamabad. Followed by the address of Korean Ambassador to Pakistan Mr. Suh Sangpyo and the introductory note, the minister delivered a keynote address at the event. He expressed his gratitude to the Embassy of Republic of Korea and the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI). He said that the remarkable journey of diplomatic collaboration between the two countries that was formally established on November 7, 1983 has touched every facet of the society.
The minister for energy highlighted the key projects in the energy sector done with the collaboration of South Korea. He said that 215 MW Asrit-Kedam Hydropower Project on the Swat River in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) expected to be commissioned in 2028, is being developed by the Korea South-East Power underscores the significance of the cooperation in energy and infrastructure. Further appreciating the collaboration in energy sector, he highlighted the establishment of Mira Power Limited, a subsidiary of Korea Energy (KOEN), to oversee the design, construction, operation and maintenance of 102MW Gulpur Hydropower Plant. He gave an example of Kot Addu Power Company Ltd. operating at 1600MW as an example of collaboration. He also mentioned that exploration in Pakistan can a keen interest of korea. He said that Pakistan has a great potential in energy that can reap further benefits and there is a mindset of reform in Pakistan. Pakistan is going towards digital metering and transmission sector is going through major revamp to attract tremendous investments in the future. Focusing on the renewable energy, he said that Pakistan has a great potential in Solar and Wind energy. He said that Pakistan is offering a great opportunity in exploration front and Pakistan will be looking at gas pipelines and storage facilities.
Minister for Energy Muhammad Ali also mentioned the people to people connections as 12000 Pakistanis live in South Korea and 800 Koreans live in Pakistan. Mentioning the collaboration in infrastructure he said that the partnership between the two countries is beyond diplomacy as In 2019 SoutH Korea signed a framework agreement with Pakistan to provide $500 million in Economic Development Cooperation Fund loans for infrastructure development. He said that arount 30 Korean companies are currently operating in Pakistan and participating in human, financial and infrastructure development. In education sector, he appreciated the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2022 between Duksung Women University in Seoul, South Korea and the University of Agriculture Faisalabad.
The minister concluded his speech by focusing on the future collaboration between the two countries. He said that he looks forward to the future collaboration in sustainable energy solutions, research, innovation, and human resource development. He said that the 40 years of relations are only the beginning of what future holds and he looks forward to new initiatives on the horizon and a commitment to more sustainable solutions.