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PESHAWAR: South Korean Ambassador Sung-Kyu Kwak visited the provincial capital on Friday along with his country’s entrepreneurs and offered grants for water and sanitation, transportation, and rural and urban development projects in the province.

He asked the government to formally produce proposals for the purpose.

According to an official statement issued here on Friday, the Korean delegation held meetings with senior minister and tourism minister Atif Khan, finance minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra and communication and works minister Akbar Ayub Khan and discussed matters of mutual interest, especially investment in energy, transportation, water and sanitation, and rural development.

They also met energy and power secretary Zahir Ali Shah and planning and development secretary Zahir Shah. Korean honorary consul general in Peshawar Afan Aziz was also present on the occasion.

The projects already completed in the province or in progress came up for discussion in the meetings.

The visitors asked the government to come up with proposals for projects in transportation, water and sanitation and rural and urban development to get Korean government’s grant.

They also offered two-week visit of their country to government officials for their capacity building.

The Korean delegates discussed with the senior minister the 545MW Kaigah, 215MW Asrit-Kedam, 197MW Kalam-Asrit and 496MW Low-Spat Valley hydropower projects and progress on them under the auspices of Korean companies.

The minister assured them of the government’s full cooperation for the projects’ successful execution.

He also promised support over litigation in the 215MW Asrit-Kedam hydropower project owned by a Korean company and said 496MW Low-Spat Valley hydropower project would be taken from Wapda before being handed over to a Korean company.

The Korean ambassador accepted the senior minister’s proposal for the use of the Korean companies’ corporate social responsibility funds for promoting tourism in Pakistan.

He said the government should formally produce proposals for the provision of grants for the rehabilitation of Buddhist stupa and long-term technical assistance for the restoration of historic relics in the province.

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2018