Mérida, Yucatán — At a ceremony celebrating the 73rd anniversary of South Korea’s independence, the president of the Korean Association in Yucatan announced that the government of his country would be willing to fully fund the Mayan train project to bring it into the state.
“I spoke with the Korean ministry when I went there and they were interested; when the route of Mérida-Cancún was raised during the government of Ivonne Ortega, they asked me to tell the government here not to get into debt, now I spoke to Korea and follow the plan that if the Mayan train is made they are willing to make the entire investment,” said Ulises Park Lee.
The train project was expanded into Yucatán anyway, without Korean investment, doubling both the scope and budget for the project. Originally, the train was to link Cancun and Palenque. It will be funded by a combination of government funds and private investment.
Korea and Yucatan have historically warm relations. More than 2,000 Korean descendants are thought to live here.
For 24 years, since the creation of the association, strong bonds of brotherhood and cooperation have been formed between the State and the Korean community through various alliances that resulted in the creation of the Korea-Mexico Friendship Hospital, the obelisk dedicated to Korean immigration and the appointment of Republic of Korea Avenue.
He also announced that a shopping complex will be built on that avenue so that Korean companies can establish their offices for negotiations in Yucatan or, where appropriate, for those local companies that want to market their products with the Asian nation.
Speaking at the invitation of the Ambassador of Korea to Mexico, Kim Sang Il stressed that Mexico is a strategic partner with which friendship and cooperation have deepened because it is now Korea’s sixth commercial partner and the largest in all of Korea. Latin America.
“In 2017, bilateral trade amounted to 15.3 billion U.S. dollars; In addition, 1,800 Korean companies have invested 6.3 billion U.S. dollars and generated more than 150,000 jobs in Mexico. Currently there are more than 80 associations of Korean culture and the Hallyu (Korean wave) has more than 160 thousand followers,” said Korea’s ambassador to Mexico, Kim Sang Il.
He recalled that this solid relationship could not have been achieved without the sacrifice and dedication of the first wave of Korean immigrants 113 years ago.
The president of the Korean Association in Campeche, Irving Lee, was also present during the festivities; the president of the Korean Association in Mexico, Youngjun Yoo; the representative of the government of the State, David Pérez Loría, and of the City council of Mérida, the regidor José Luis Martínez Semerena.