Photo exhibition to mark 40 years of S'pore-S. Korea ties

Singapore and South Korea share many similarities and will continue to work together to foster a closer friendship, said officials from both countries at the opening of a photo exhibition to mark Singapore's 50th birthday and 40 years of bilateral relations with South Korea.

Singapore Ambassador to South Korea Yip Wei Kiat said: "Beginning from similar starting points as poor developing economies, Singapore and South Korea have struggled hard to reach where we are today.

"Through cooperation and the sharing of experiences between the governments, businesses and people of the two countries, we have achieved more together than we could have on our own."

Singapore is South Korea's fifth-largest trading partner while South Korea is the Republic's eighth-largest trading partner, with bilateral trade amounting to $48.5 billion last year.

Tourism figures have also been growing. Last year, 536,544 South Koreans travelled to the Lion City, while 201,105 Singaporeans visited the Land of the Morning Calm.

Since former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew's first official visit to South Korea in 1979, there have been frequent high-level exchanges between the two nations. When Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visited in December, honorary Seoul citizenship was conferred on him.

These exchanges are featured on two photo walls placed at the Seoul Finance Centre's main lobby until Aug 2. A separate display of Singa-pore's post-independence achievements and milestones can be seen in front of the building.

When South Korean President Park Geun Hye flew to Singapore in March to attend Mr Lee Kuan Yew's funeral, it was a sign of the close ties between the two countries, said South Korea's Deputy Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs, Mr Shin Dong Ik.

He said there are still many untapped opportunities between the two countries as Singapore's knowledge-based economy and South Korea's creative economy share the same goals. "As a partner that shares similar experiences and views, South Korea will walk alongside Singapore in its journey towards building an even brighter future."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 24, 2015, with the headline 'Photo exhibition to mark 40 years of S'pore-S. Korea ties'. Print Edition | Subscribe