South Korea Increases Investment In Equatorial Guinea

SEOUL – Equatorial Guinea’s President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, on his first trip to Korea since the two allies formed diplomatic ties three decades ago, has met with Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak during a bilateral summit in Seoul, Korea. President Obiang said the agreements reached at the meetings in Korea will be of great benefit–technologically and economically–to both nations.

President Lee mentioned his expectation for Korean investments to move forward in Equatorial Guinea, while President Obiang asked Korean businesses to take advantage of the country’s vast opportunities in natural resources, including oil, gas and agriculture. Equatorial

Guinea’s Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pastor Micha Ondo Bile, also participated in the summit.

The leaders of Equatorial Guinea and Korea also agreed to cooperate in infrastructure and energy development projects, which will help to diversify Equatorial Guinea’s industries for its citizens. The two leaders intend to “promote bilateral exchanges in technologies and human resources to foster closer economic ties,” according to the Korea Times. Equatorial Guinea has the fastest growing economy and is the third-largest oil producer in Sub-Saharan Africa.

President Lee praised Equatorial Guinea’s efforts towards its social, economic and infrastructure plans. The leaders discussed how Korea’s development experience can help Equatorial Guinea with its “Horizon 2020” development plan to help the African nation with its education and construction of infrastructure efforts. During President Obiang’s four-day stay, he is scheduled to visit Korea’s energy facilities before departing to China.

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea (Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial) is the only Spanish-speaking country in Africa, and one of the smallest nations on the continent. In the late-1990s, American companies helped discover the country’s oil and natural gas resources, which only within the last five years began contributing to the global energy supply. Equatorial Guinea is now working to serve as a pillar of stability and security in its region of West Central Africa. The country will host the 2011 Summit of the African Union.