Spanish Ambassador to South Korea Juan Ignacio Morro hosted a reception at Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Seoul on Oct. 10, 2019 on the occasion of its national day "The Fiesta Nacional de España."
Spain's national holiday or "The Fiesta Nacional de España" is celebrated annually on October 12, the day they commemorates the anniversary of Christopher Columbus' first arrival in the Americas.
Many other countries in the world also celebrate the national day when Columbus landed in the New World. The United States calls the day Columbus Day.
The dinner reception, held at the Grand Ballroom of the hotel, attracted a number of both local Korean and international guests including scores of top foreign envoys and their spouses serving in the capital city of South Korea.
Spain established the diplomatic ties with South Korea in March, 1950, just three months earlier before the outbreak of the Korean War (1950-53). It opened the official ties with North Korea in 2001.
But the first contact between Spain and Korea harks all the way back to the late 1600s when a Spanish Jesuit priest Gregorio de Cespedes (1551-1611) visited the Korean Peninsula on a missionary work. He was the first Spanish to visit Korea.
He arrived in Busan, the southern port city, on Dec. 27, 1593, accompanying Japanese invasion forces commanded by Konishi Yukinaga, himself a Kirishitan (Christian) daimyō, at the height of the Hydeyoshi Invasion of Korea (1592-1598). He proselytize Japanese soldiers and Korean prisoners as well.
Spain is the 5th largest economy in Europe, only after Germany, England, France, and Italy, and world's 12th biggest economy. For South Korea too Spain is the strategic point to advance to Europe, Central America, and North African regions.
Spain imported 2.1 billion US dollars' worth of goods from South Korea in 201. It stopped short of exporting to South Korea 1.16 billion US dollars' worth of goods.
Automobiles, auto parts, and pharmaceuticals are the main import items from South Korea whereas it exports to South Korea its abundant natural gas.
The bilateral trade volume has been on the steady rise since 2011 when it signed the free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea.
Currently such South Korean companies as Samsung, LG, Ssangyong, Hyundai & Kia Motors, Korean Air, and Hanjin Shipping are operating in Spain. Smaller Korean companies are also very active in Spain.
Now, close to 4,000 Koreans are working, living, or studying in Spain and in its overseas territories including Las Palmas. Among them are 700 who acquired Spanish citizenship.
Spain maintains sisterhood relations with six South Korean cities.
For details or inquiries call the Spanish Embassy in Seoul at 02-794-3581/2 or leave an Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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