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* South Korea assists Sri Lanka to develop villages, promote tourism
Fri, Feb 15, 2013, 08:29 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 15, Colombo: Sri Lanka and South Korea have agreed to develop closer ties between the two countries and promote tourism, the Economic Development Ministry said today.

Korean MP Chung Uihwa leading a Korean Parliamentary delegation to the island has stressed the need for the two countries to forge closer links as a number of Korean-funded projects have been launched in Sri Lanka and Korean investors have invested in the island country.

MP Uihwa has said that Korea expects to commence direct flights between Seoul and Colombo to promote tourism in the island to meet the needs of the both investors and tourists when the delegation met with the Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa at the Ministry office recently.

The MP has also stressed the need to form closer links in the spheres of culture and religion and pointed out that approximately 25,000 Sri Lankans employed in South Korea could help in boosting Sri Lanka's tourism image in Korea.

Korean Government has agreed to fund the development of two rural villages in the Kegalle and Ratnapura Districts under the Korean concept of Saemaul Undong for rural development.

Two other projects funded by the Korean government, a convention center in Hambantota and a hospital in the Matara District are expected to be opened soon.

Minister Rajapaksa has requested the visiting parliamentary delegation to help promote aspects of Sri Lanka's culture in addition to scenic beauty among the Korean people to attracted Korean tourists to the island.

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