Direct from the Royal Palace.
On Monday 3 November and Tuesday 4 November 2014, Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will make a state visit to the Republic of Korea at the invitation of President Park Geun-hye (see Government Information Service press release no. 273). They will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Frans Timmermans, while the Minister of Economic Affairs, Henk Kamp, will head a trade mission to run in parallel with the visit.
The visit will reinforce the already strong bilateral ties between Korea and the Netherlands and will aim to intensify economic relations and foster cooperation in sectors such as innovative high-tech development, wind energy and agribusiness. There will also be a focus on cementing links with Korean companies investing in the Netherlands. The business delegation with be deployed to promote knowledge exchanges between government bodies, businesses and knowledge institutions. Mr Guus Hiddink is accompanying the trip as the face of the trade mission as well as being a member of the official delegation. Mr Hiddink was coach of the Korean football team during the 2002 World Cup. He has an extensive Korean contact network and is familiar with Korean society.
Korea is a member of the G-20 and is one of the 11 countries with which the EU has concluded a strategic partnership. In March 2014 PresidentPark made an official visit to the Netherlands and met with King Willem-Alexander.
Monday 3 November
The state visit will begin in the morning at the SeoulNationalCemetery, where King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will lay a wreath at the MemorialTower. The royal couple will then be officially welcomed by PresidentPark in Cheong Wa Dae, the presidential residence. After the welcome ceremony and an inspection of the guard of honour, an audience will take place, followed by delegation talks. The morning will close with a tour of GyeongbokgungPalace, a historical monument in the centre of Seoul. The original palace complex was built in 1394 by King Taejo of Joseon and has been destroyed and rebuilt several times.
In the afternoon, the King and Queen will visit the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), a new cultural design centre. After a short tour of the exterior, the King will open the Dutch Design Exhibition, a travelling exhibition by the DesignAcademy in Eindhoven showcasing award-winning designs from 2014.
The King and Queen will then pay a brief visit to an exhibition in the GansongArt Museum, where a number of works by Korean artists are on display. This will be followed by a roundtable meeting in the DDP, hosted by the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW), where Dutch CEOs and Korean authorities can enter into dialogue.
In the afternoon the royal couple will attend a seminar on a creative and learning economy. The Dutch and Korean governments are both seeking to make their economies more sustainable and to generate sufficient growth. To further promote a creative economy, the Korean government is focusing on ICT, research & development, innovation and deregulation. A similar approach is being taken in the Netherlands. In its study of the Dutch economy’s future earning capacity, the Scientific Council for Government Policy (WWR) recently made a series of recommendations, most notably concerning the need to focus on maintaining a learning economy. During the seminar, Dutch and Korean researchers and students will discuss the common ground they share and opportunities for possible further cooperation. The meeting will take place in DonggukUniversity’s JeonggakTemple.
In the evening PresidentPark will host a state banquet at the presidential residence, where both heads of state will deliver speeches.
Tuesday 4 November
The second day of the state visit will start with the opening of a seminar on innovation as part of the parallel trade mission. The trade mission will take part in this seminar and networking opportunity in conjunction with Korean institutions and companies. The King and Queen will then visit the Republic of Korea’s Parliament, the National Assembly, where they will meet with the Speaker and party leaders.
Afterwards there will be a lunch at the presidential residence with CEOs from Korean companies investing in the Netherlands.
In the afternoon, the royal couple will receive members of the local Dutch community. In the evening, at the conclusion of the state visit, the King and Queen will, by way of a reciprocal gesture, host a concert by harpist Lavinia Meijer.