Seoul steps up public diplomacy

Nurul Islam
Published : 23 Sept 2013, 12:45 PM
Updated : 23 Sept 2013, 02:46 PM

South Korea has stepped up its public diplomacy with Bangladesh to bolster its 40-year-old relationship with the South Asian country.

In its latest effort, Seoul has appointed Bangladeshi actress Nusrat Imrose Tisha as its ‘goodwill ambassador’ for the country's Dhaka mission amid an ongoing, year-long cultural exchange programme.

Ambassador Lee Yun-young handed over her appointment letter on Monday and said she would work for ‘public diplomacy’ over the next two years.

The appointment has been made at a time when the world’s 15th largest economy is celebrating its 40 years of diplomatic ties with Bangladesh.

The embassy in Dhaka kicked off its year-long celebrations in January with a musical show by their leading musicians.

The envoy termed Tisha’s appointment ‘a happy’ one and said she would play a strong role in the promotion of culture between the two countries. “She is popular and talented”.

One of Bangladesh's strong development partners, Korea opened its embassy in Dhaka in early 1975, more than a year after the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1973.

Bangladesh, the fourth largest recipient of Economic Development Cooperation Fund loan from Korea, is a priority partner country for Seoul when it comes to the development cooperation.

Nearly $2bn two-way trade is also growing with the increasing number of people-to-people exchanges.

This year, several leading cultural personalities as well as artists visited Dhaka to perform concerts and participate in joint art exhibitions.

Bangladeshi artists have also visited Seoul.

The embassy also organised seminars jointly with Bangladesh to give people an idea of Korea’s diplomatic as well as economic policies.

The envoy said more cultural troupes would come in the coming days to perform in Dhaka to increase people-to-people contacts.

He hoped that Tisha’s appointment would enhance the relationship.

Tisha, excited over her appointment, said she was ‘honoured’ to be a goodwill ambassador and that she took it as a ‘responsibility’ to promote the two-way cultures.