MOU for Tourism Promotion between KK City and Gapyeong County, Korea, on the Cards, says Liew.

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Kim (2nd left) presenting cans of pine nuts for which Gapyeong is famous, to Liew during the courtesy call on Thursday afternoon. Looking on are William (right) and the Representative of Gapyeong Forestry Cooperative Union, Mr. Jang, Gi-Myeong.

KOTA KINABALU: The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Kota Kinabalu City and the Gapyeong County in Korea for promotion of tourism and trade is on the cards.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew announced this when officiating at the 8th Luxury Brand Kids Model Awards to mark Global Fashion Week 2019 at Hilton Kota Kinabalu on Thursday night.

An hour’s drive from Seoul, Gapyeong is a city in the Gapyeong County with a population of 62,448 in the Province of Gyeonggi.

Liew, who is also Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, said she would discuss the proposed MoU with Kota Kinabalu City Mayor Datuk Nordin Siman and the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Datuk William Baya.

“The Mayor of Gapyeong County, Mr Kim, Sungki paid a courtesy call on me this afternoon (Thursday). We agreed on having a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which is mutually beneficial to both parties.

Kim (7th left) led a 10-member delegation to pay a courtesy call on Liew (6th left) on Thursday afternoon

Our aim is to increase the tourist flow from Korea to
Sabah and vice versa, and to promote cultural exchange. We may also look into possible
cooperation in the field of education.

“My Senior Marketing Manager (Ms Tay Shu Lan) will
be working on the terms of the MoU. It is likely to be inked in Gapyeong next
year to reciprocate Mr Kim’s maiden visit to Sabah,” she said.

Currently, Korean tourist arrivals to Sabah constitute the second highest in
numbers after China. There are more than 40 direct flights per week from Korea
to Sabah via five airlines.

The Minister is in favour of getting Korean tourists, among others, to go
beyond Kota Kinabalu by visiting tourist destinations in Sandakan and Tawau as
well.

She noted the similarities between Kota Kinabalu and Gapyeong in terms of their
beautiful landscape, scenic islands, tourist resorts and nature tourism.
“Like the world famous Sipadan Island on the east coast of Sabah, Nami
Island, known for Korean drama shooting, is a famous tourist attraction in
Korea.”

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