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  • On the northwestern Mediterranean coast of Algeria in Oran city the biggest fertilizer plant in the world is currently under construction. The 2.4 billion US dollar project is jointly run by the Algerian and Oman governments but an order worth roughly a quarter of the work is received by a Korean construction firm. Daewoo Engineering & Construction began working in October 2008 which was the first time that a domestic firm won a contract in Algeria since the 1990s. [Interview : Cho Jae-duk‚ Construction Manager Daewoo Engineering & Construction] "About 37 percent of the work has been completed so far. The project is expected to due in January 2012." Korean companies have been receiving orders from the Middle Eastern countries so far but as the market there was getting saturated domestic firms were looking for a niche market. And as a result increasing number of Korean construction companies including Hanwha ‚ Samsung and Hyundai are receiving orders from Algeria. Local construction managers say it indicates the improved evaluations for technical skills of Korean firms in Africa. [Interview : Abdul Kader‚ Construction Manager Algerian] "We found out that Korean companies have advantages in price competition and when Daewoo finishes this project‚ other Korean companies would have more opportunities to work in Algeria." Furthermore‚ increasing number of Korean frims are receiving orders from north Africa such as Lybia‚ Morocco and Egypt. The total amount of orders were worth about 2-hundred-40 million dollars in 2005 but the volume reached over 6.8 billion dollars in 2009. Choi Won-young‚ Arirang News. Reporter : won102@arirang.co.kr

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  • Korea's two electronics giants‚ Samsung and LG‚ are wooing Middle Eastern and African buyers at an information technology fair in Dubai. According to a company spokesman‚ Samsung Electronics is presenting more than 200 new products‚ including a 70-inch LCD television at the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition from this past Saturday. LG Electronics‚ meanwhile‚ did not set up its own booth at the exhibition‚ but is also attracting retailers and electronics companies in the region by showing off its latest line of mobile phones and MP3 players at the Burj Al Arab Hotel. Reporter : minjikang@arirang.co.kr

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  • Staying on the topic of Korea-Africa ties - A group of African diplomats in Seoul gathered for a workshop to learn more about Korea's economic development. At the same time‚ they prodded Koreans to put Africa on their 'must-visit' list. Chang Yeojeong has more. From the ashes of war to memory chips and mobile phones. In only five decades‚ Korea made the leap from one of the world's poorest to an IT powerhouse. Some 20 African diplomats keen to learn some of the secrets behind Korea's speedy economic growth came together for a workshop titled "Fighting Poverty through Sustainable Tourism." The African envoys with the UN World Tourism Organization's ST-EP Foundation organized a cram session to turn up the flow of tourists into Africa as part of efforts to develop more sustainable economies. DHO YOUNGSHIM‚ CHAIRMAN OF UNWTO ST-EP FOUNDATION: "For Africa‚ fighting poverty is a great issue‚ and sustainable tourism has been proven that economic development was able to be accomplished through it. So this is the first workshop with African countries. It's going to be a two-way communication: Korea to know about Africa and Africans to know about Korea." Sustainable tourism seeks to tread lightly on nature and culture while generating income and jobs and ensuring healthy ecosystems. As part of the workshop‚ participants from 10 African countries including Egypt‚ Ghana and Tunisia gave the facts and figures of their tourism industry. And a local travel agency explained the range of African tours from safaris and deserts to the Great Pyramids‚ already available to Koreans. The diplomats welcomed the chance to offer‚ and receive‚ new ideas. HONORAT E. ABENI KOFFI‚ AMBASSADOR OF IVORY COAST TO KOREA: "First to let our countries to be known to Korean people‚ the tourists and tour operators. The second‚ to bring more Korean tourists to Africa‚ in order to help the tourism economy in our countries." FEZIWE MADIKIZELA‚ COUNSELOR AT SOUTH AFRICAN AMBASSADOR: "What I learned from this workshop is that it is very important to share experiences of each other's country and also gain more experience from each other." African countries are especially eager to bolster their tourism sector ahead of the 2010 World Cup soccer matches in South Africa. South Africa's success at impressing its foreign guests could translate into tourism revenue elsewhere on the continent. "Organizers say the efforts to help boost diverse economies in Africa through sustainable tourism will not stop here. In fact‚ they plan to hold more workshops in the coming months. Chang Yeojeong‚ Arirang News." Reporter : sarah@arirang.co.kr

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  • Teaching how to fish rather than simply giving fish is what Korea hopes to achieve through expanding agricultural cooperation with Africa. Korea's Rural Development Administration invited agriculture representatives from 16 African nations to officially launch the Korea-Africa Food and Agriculture Cooperation Initiative. Although they are geographically far apart‚ Korea and Africa's agricultural cooperation dates back to 1972 when Korea began nurturing African agriculture experts [Interview : ] "Many nations in Asia and Africa have expressed their willingness to learn Korea's agricultural technology. And we plan to expand our cooperation now with Africa to help them increase food production." Agriculture played a big role in taking Korea from a very poor rural society up to Asia's fourth largest economy and it still remains a critical part of the country's economic and human development. And half a world away Africans acknowledge that agriculture can be the key to help the continent climb out of poverty and there are valuable lessons to learn through the cooperation. [Interview : ] "The importance about it is that it's going to add value and at the same time create a more sustainable food sufficiency in the world." Korea a nation that has gone through the same hardships as Africa from colonization to food shortage now believes that it can become a true role model. By providing practical help the Rural Development Administration wishes to establish a platform for Africa to modernize its agricultural technology and foster economic growth. [Reporter : ] "And in the near future‚ Korea hopes to see African nations also taking initiatives to pass down the lessons taught to other parts of the world. Kim Hyo-sun‚ Arirang News." Reporter : hyosun2@arirangtv.com

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