Zagreb - Croatia hopes to open an embassy and tourism board in South Korea this year as well as sign an agreement on air traffic with that country, Parliament Speaker Josip Leko announced on Monday after talks with his South Korean counterpart Chung Ui-Hwa.
There is a prospect that the two countries' "smooth and open bilateral cooperation" in the economy, tourism and science is extended to investment and trade, Leko said after a meeting with the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea during his official visit to Croatia.
"We hope to send a Croatian ambassador to the Republic of Korea this year," Leko said. The Republic of Korea already has an embassy in Croatia and that has proven to be a good foundation to facilitate relations between the two countries and Korea is a "very important partner to Croatia" in the Far East, Leko said.
The two countries cooperate well multilaterally in world organisations, said Leko, who has already conducted a trip to South Korea. That visit contributed to developing good relations, Chung said in a joint statement to the press. Around 260,000 Korean tourists have visited Croatia so far and we expect that number to grow to 300,000 soon, he said.
He announced that the two countries were soon to sign an agreement on air traffic for flights between them. The Croatian National Tourist Board plans to open an office in Seoul, Chung added. Asked what it was that attracted Korean tourists to Croatia, Chung said it was primarily the country's beauty, the number of sites on the UNESCO heritage list, Dubrovnik, and the capital Zagreb.
He added that Croatia mostly attracted women and members of the middle class. Croatian media often report that South Koreans 'discovered' Croatia following a South Korean reality show filmed in Croatia.
South Korea can learn a lot from Croatia too, Chung concluded.(Hina)