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Seeing a much bigger role for India in Korea and the Region- Dr. Lakhvinder Singh

Friday, June 15th, 2018

Dr. Lakhvinder Singh, founder and director of the India-Korea Business and Policy Forum, has spent many years in Korea as professor, lecturer, commentator and writer. Here he talks to Donald Kirk on the critical but often neglected topic of India’s role in the region, notably Korea:
 
Question: Should India be playing a bigger strategic role in the region in terms of defense, including sending troops to east Asia, or would that be too upsetting in terms of China's response?
Answer: Today there exist very strong strategic imperative for deeper defense cooperation between two countries. With the rapid increase of Chinese military might in the region, the balance of power is shifting very fast. The USA-led security structure is in great stress. No country in Asia can face the changing “balance of forces” in the region alone. To keep some degree of stability in this fast-changing region we must work closely with each other. Stronger India-Korea defense ties is the answer and way forward. Let us work together in that direction.

Q: We often hear about 6-party talks on N. Korea. How about making it 7-party talks and including India as a major player with diplomatic ties with both N. and S. Korea?

A: India has very serious stakes in maintaining peace in this part of the world. After the end of the Korean War in 1953, India played very important role in peace-building on the Korean peninsula. It is time India becomes active again in playing a role in building peace in Korea. Indian engagement as a facilitator of the peace process could be very beneficial for the region as India has very good diplomatic ties with all parties involved including North Korea. India is one country that everyone can trust.

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India Gains Access to Sabang - A Road Map for Economic and Sustainable Development

Thursday, June 14th, 2018

While that may be quite plausible, it is useful to keep in mind that sea ports and the associated infrastructure serve many purposes besides commercial and strategic. In fact, maritime infrastructure is inherently flexible in nature, and offers a wide spectrum of opportunities for policy makers to pursue political, diplomatic, strategic, economic, technological, cultural, environmental, ecological and developmental engagements.

Last month, during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Jakarta, India and Indonesia issued a joint statement which ‘underlined the importance of stronger connectivity, particularly on sea links, in order to facilitate economic cooperation and people-to-people contact’, and “welcomed the plan to build connectivity between Andaman Nicobar-Aceh to unleash the economic potentials of both areas.” Further, they appreciated the “decision to set up a Joint Task Force to undertake projects for port related infrastructure in and around Sabang.” The joint statement also made reference to adoption of the “Shared Vision on Maritime Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific between India and Indonesia” which would act as a catalyst to develop “further cooperation in maritime sector which can be a force of immense stability in the region.”

The above documents and declarations are significant and substantive to develop Sabang into a maritime hub that can contribute to the Blue Economy and development of the Aceh region and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. This can be achieved in at least six thematic areas that are closely connected with each other and are embedded in India’s Act East Policy and Indonesia’s Global Maritime Fulcrum.

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Busan Metropolitan City Mayoral Candidate Mr. Oh Geo-don

Thursday, June 7th, 2018


It is election time in Korea. The campaigns for gubernatorial, mayoral and local council elections, as well as by-elections for 12 parliamentary seats to be held on June 13, are set to start on Thursday, June 7, 2018.

The ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) party is expected to sweep the elections. Its candidates for 2,280 public servant posts, including 17 mayors and governors, and 17 education superintendents will be campaigning tirelessly in the next few days.

All parties are wooing voters with pledges and slogans. The ruling DPKis expecting to reap the fruits of recent North Korea peace overtures with its slogan, "Peace and the Economy." DPK expects big win over its main opposition, Liberty Korea Party (LKP) nation-wide.

According to recent reports, the Democratic mayoral candidate in Busan, Mr. Oh Geo-don, is leading in approval ratings against the conservative main opposition, LKP.

The pre-election polls show Oh Geo-don with a 50.5% approval rating against 20.4% LKP’s Such Byung-soo, the current mayor of Busan.

Recently the Asia Pacific Business and Technology Report attended events organized by Oh Geo-don’s campaign. Below are excerpts of the conversations.

 

Q1. What was the main purpose of yesterday's event held by the Real Estate Policy Committee?
- On June 4, around 300 people gathered in down town Busan to pledge support for our election campaign. The Real Estate Policy Committee has been serving in various parts of Busan for quite some time. Recently it acquired nationally recognized certification as a certified real estate agency. Although there are 7,750 real estate brokerage offices operating in Busan, the market has been getting sluggish and the new opportunities are closing. Of the 10,000 members in the Busan area, the 300 vice chairmen of the 23 committees under the Real Estate Policy Committee gathered and declared their support our polices and agenda.

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Emerging Trends of Tomorrow’s Communications

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

Since its inception in last century, mobile wireless communications have gone through a gradual, steady evolution from its early days to broadband 4th Generation (4G) wireless systems. Dr. Abhishek Roy, a Principal Engineer and leading wireless professional from Samsung Electronics ㅑ is of the view that 4G has truly “brought a new wireless revolution” – online services, which were un-thinkable a few years back, are now a reality. Railway reservations, ordering food in restaurants and even calling cabs are now only a matter of few clicks using our mobile phones.

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Can USA Stop China Through War? Trade or Hot War.

Monday, May 7th, 2018

Can USA Stop China through War?  Answer is  big "NO". War with China at this stage of human history can hurt free world more than China and thus must be avoided at any cost. It is simply too late to stop China through war. Genie is already out of the bottle.The best and only peaceful way to stop China is to fix the internal problems of liberal order and outgrow China.

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Holi “Festival of Colors” in Korea

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

Starting from scratch in 2011 today Holi ‘festival of colors’ has become one of most important event for the cultural party goers in Korea. Every year in month of March thousands of foreigners and Koreans throng to the beach to enjoy this festival of colors with their friends and dear ones. We had the chance to sit with main organizers of the festival to get a preview what we can expect in this year’s festival

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China’s Growing Profile in Asia and India

Monday, January 8th, 2018

Recently during the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, political leadership vowed to build the world’s best armed forces, matching its newly acquired economic status. Given the recent pace of Chinese military modernization, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Indian armed forces to catch up.

Upending Maritime and Military Operations Through Blockchain

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

Cryptocurrencies such as the Bitcoin’s gold, Ethereum, Zcash, Litecoin, Dash, Ripple, Monero etc. have created enormous excitement among the global financial community. Some states have adopted cryptocurrency as a legal form of payments and tool of exchange, and others have set timelines for its implementation. Interestingly, a few have chosen to annul its usage and announced their own version of cryptocurrency.

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International Exhibition on Smart Technology for Sustainable Development & Procurement (STS&P 2017) to focuses on implementing the UN 2030 Agenda in South Korea

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

In order to overcome the worldwide serious Poverty, Hunger, Disease and Environmental Pollution, a new type of industrial exhibition ‘International Exhibition on Smart Technology for Sustainable Development & Procurement(STS&P 2017)’ focusing on Sustainability Development Goals(SDGs), will be held in Songdo ConvensiA, Incheon, South Korea. It is to be for three days from November 30(Thu), 2017 to December 2(Sat), 2017.

‘STS&P 2017’ will exhibit all kinds of technologies and smart technologies necessary for implementing Sustainable Development and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC). It will be also the place to share the information for implementing SDGs and UNFCCC, and to discuss how these international trends will affect mid-to long-term management strategies of various companies in the world.

South Korea is the only country in the world that has grown from an OECD beneficiary to a donor. It has significance that an international exhibition for sharing and developing international procurement resources is held in the country used to be the aid beneficiary of the UN and international organizations. It could be a precedent of international cooperation and an example of a virtuous cycle. In this context, the international attention is also expected.

STS&P 2017, which will be held for the first time this year, places priority on Asia and Africa as a major strategic region. Its goal is to become a brand exhibition for expansion of technology and procurement enterprises for sustainable development. Annually expanding its scope and scale, STS&P has a challenge to reach Latin America in 2018, and grow into the worldwide influential exhibition for sustainable development in 2019.

In addition, there will be a platform for SMEs, start-up companies and technology developers from a variety of countries to meet potential buyers-aid agencies, procurement officers and distributors in each country, development aid NPOs- and investors such as global financial institutions.
Until now, confirmed buyers are United Nations Procurement Division(UNPD), United Nations Development Programme(UNDP), United Nations Office for Project Services(UNOPS), The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development(IBRD), and SM Cares from Philippines. Inviting international development associations, non-profit organizations, and multinational corporations in and out of South Korea is actively going on.

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India and Peace Building on Korean Peninsula

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

The election of President Moon Jae-In offers a tremendous opportunity for renewing peace talks for the Korean Peninsula and pursuing a comprehensive vision for security in East Asia that will inspire a generation. However, we can already detect the misunderstandings and miscommunications that fueled grave doubts and conflicts during the previous six party talksduring the administration of President Moon’s previous boss, President Roh Moon-hyun.

Unless President Moon embraces a truly original approach, one that moves beyond the negative impressions surrounding the “Sunshine policy,” he risks spending his entire administration defending himself against attacks from skeptics in Washington, Tokyo and at home in Seoul that will keep him from realizing the grand plans that so many aspire for..

Bringing together the members of the six party talks (South Korea, North Korea, China, Japan Russia and the United States) will not be easy, and if they feel that this is just a repeat of what was tried ten years ago, the difficult negotiations may generate more darkness than light

But what if another party entered the process that could serve as the host for the Six Party Talks, a country that that has good relations with all the nations concerned, but which is not a direct party to the disagreement, a nation that has extensive experience in addressing the sticky issues regarding nonproliferation?

You might ask whether such a nation exists because it sounds too good to be true. But India is exactly that country.
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India maintains good relations with North Korea where it has an embassy and it has become an important trade partner as well. At the same time, India has been openly critical of North Korea’s nuclear program and has encouraged real reform on the part of Pyongyang.

India also has long-term ties with China at multiple levels and, although there have been disputes, there has also been immense bilateral cooperation as part of the economic integration known as “Chindia.”The two countries have deep military and diplomatic relations as the two leaders of the developing world.

And Indian engagement with Russia is also broad and deep, offering new potential approaches for expanding the six party talks to deal embrace security concerns in Asia as a whole.

But that is not all. India has not only maintained strong ties with the developing world, but it also shown remarkable innovation and flexibility in forging closer relations with the two players who are most likely to be skeptical of any effort to restart the Six Party Talks: Japan and the United States.

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Augmented Reality: Opportunities for Naval Forces

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

The previous year, 2016 had been a seminal year for Augmented Reality (AR). It witnessed the launch of Pokemon Go, a free-to-play, location-based AR game developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices. The activity involved a Pokémon appearing on Google Maps and then allowing the gamers to use their browsers to search for the exotic monsters located at real-world positions and physically reaching up to them and then hit an icon on screen, and be rewarded with items and experience points.

What began as an ‘April Fools’ joke, the app-based game caught the attention of millions of young and old gaming enthusiasts across the globe who competed with each other in the streets and public places such as parks, zoos, monuments, clock towers, etc. to ‘capture, train and battle’ titular creatures (pocket monsters) or Pokémon characters’ through their mobile phones and devices to fight other creatures within the game. For instance, ghost-type Pokémon appeared in graveyards and water-type creatures near lakes and rivers, and even in military establishments forcing the US military’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington, issuing a warning not to ‘chase Pokémon into controlled or restricted areas, office buildings, or homes on base’ and the Pentagon even promulgated rules for playing Pokemon Go in and around its premises.

The above may sound like an innocuous entertainment, but it showcased that it is possible to overlay virtual objects on the real-world places thus augmenting it into a new reality. However, it is useful to mention that AR systems are not new, have seen many applications for specific systems and were naturally exclusive and therefore very expensive. What is perhaps significant about the recent applications of AR is its ready availability and low-costs which encouraged it to attract general public and enter the consumer market place with a bang.

Three Realities

Before attempting to understand the role of AR for military purposes, it is useful to define a few concepts relating to Reality. Virtual Reality (VR) “is an artificial, computer-generated simulation or recreation of a real-life environment or situation. It immerses the user by making them feel like they are experiencing the simulated reality firsthand, primarily by stimulating their vision and hearing” and produces environment in which the users interact with virtual content. The digital content merges with the user’s perceptual experience by creating 2D and 3D images in the field of view. In essence, the participant-observer is totally immersed in, and able to interact with, a completely synthetic world.

Unlike VR, AR “layers computer-generated enhancements atop an existing reality in order to make it more meaningful through the ability to interact with it. AR is developed into apps and used on mobile devices to blend digital components into the real world in such a way that they enhance one another”. It achieves this by combining the virtual with the real and is used on small hand held devices with cameras.

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UN Convention on Law of the Sea must be respected-India, Germany

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Both sides underlined the importance of freedom of navigation in international waters, the right of passage and other maritime rights and obligations in accordance with the convention and other principles of international law.

Both leaders attached particular importance to security, stability, connectivity and sustainable development of the blue economy in the Indian Ocean Region.

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Post-peace march account

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

On May 15, the Asia Institute and the Korea Peace Movement ― both deeply concerned about the fast deteriorating situation on the Korean Peninsula ― brought together their first peace march in downtown Seoul. Institute members feel they must raise their voices before it is too late and our children and dear ones are vaporized in the coming nuclear fire, and inform authorities that something must be done to address the growing concerns of citizens.

A broad section of Korean society participated in the march, including academics, business people, housewives, school teachers and students. Professor Emanuel Pastreich, director of the Asia Institute, opened the event. In his speech, he emphasized that no matter how small we are today, we must take the first step in the right direction. It takes an act of bravery to resist a wrong in society. Having gone through so much pain and suffering in the past few months because of the fear of nuclear war, we can no longer sit quietly in our homes and hope for this terrifying situation to return to normal. He said if others are preparing to wage war, we must come out in the streets and start waging peace.

Pastreich's opening remarks were followed by a passionate speech by Lee Rae-kyong, director of the "Tomorrow" Institute in Seoul. He said peace is not passive. You cannot have peace merely by asking for it. One must actively work for it. One should always be ready to defend peace at any cost. Thus peace requires constant vigilance by all members of society.

Representing the literary section of society, Lee Eum-sim read her newly composed peace poem. In it she hoped the march will help restore peace in her war-torn country. She also expressed her sadness about how materialism and greed are affecting the citizens' peace of mind. In this mad rush of extreme materialism, Korea‘s beautiful countryside, covered with beautiful mountains and rivers, offers true peaceful bliss. Connecting with nature can give us the true peace we are so desperately seeking.

Yoh Kawanaka of Japan performed a peace dance for the marchers. Through her dance she conveyed her message that only through durable peace can mankind reap its best potential. Peace is a fundamental imperative for the best to come out of us. After the performance, her brief remarks assured the Korean people that the people of Japan seek peace as much as the Korean people do. While there are some misunderstandings about her country in Korea, she brought her message to Korea of peace and love for the Korean people and hoped she can play a role in bringing these two nations closer together.

She emphasized good relations between Korea and Japan is the fundamental requirement for peace in the region. She strongly criticized the Japanese prime minister's efforts to rearm Japan and said it will only lead to death and destruction in the region. She lamented she could not understand why her prime minster has proceeded in that direction when her country experienced so much devastation in the last war. According to her, all efforts to rearm Japan must stop.

Agam Jot Singh, representing the younger generation, posed the question: "If World War I was the war to end all wars, why we are still talking about the war today? Why could war not be wiped from the face of the earth? Why we are still using war to solve our differences? Why can we not solve our problems peacefully?" According to Singh, old people start wars, but the young people pay the price with their blood and lives.

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Marching For Peace

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

If others actively wage war, we must actively "Wage Peace."

Today, facing growing violence in our society and around the world, there is an urgent need to show that the true bravery needed to counter conflict takes the form, as Mahatma Gandhi said, of "waging peace." We cannot counter violence with more violence.

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Exclusive Interaction with Mr. HP Singh, Managing Director and Founder, Tomorrow’s India

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Mr Singh’svision about the immense potential in the present and future Indian Economy has given birth to another not for profit called “Global Social (India) Foundation “, which is the first ever platform that strives to bring together the three important pillars constituting the holistic growth of any nation- Culture, Knowledge and Business Opportunities-all on the same table! As a Social Entrepreneur, through Tomorrow’s India Mr Singh aims to enhance the economic cooperation as well as foster dialogues between India and the world economies.With approximately 1.2 billion people, India is the world’s largest democracy and second largest country by population. Mr Singh believes that in order to use these resource to drive results it is important to reach out to the untapped economies and “Showcase India” to the World.

1. What is “Tomorrow’s India” exactly? Is it an NGO or a consultancy? What does it exactly do? How old is it? What work has it done so far and what are its future plans?
Tomorrow’s India Global Summit was incepted with the ambition to connect Indian start-ups and SMEs with the world. The vision of the program is to create immense opportunities with economies around the world and identify emerging trends within India for the participating countries. The program was launched by The Global Social India Foundation (GSIF) in January, 2016 in Singapore and brought together experts, entrepreneurs, head honchos and corporate gurus from diverse sectors of the industry in form of interactive and power packed panel discussions, knowledge sharing and cultural exchange. Tomorrow’s India is hosting its second edition Tomorrow’s India Global Summit in Seoul, South Korea.
2. Can you please share with us your Mission and vision for “Tomorrow’s India” in more details?
The pause for thought came last year on August 15, 2015, when I envisioned a world offering an exclusive platform to businesses and entrepreneurs who are ready for globalization with India being at the forefront. That’s how the idea of Tomorrow’s India emanated.With approximately 1.2 billion people, India is the world’s largest democracy and second largest country by population. But how do we use this resource to drive results? The notion is simple – by reaching out to the untapped economies and “Showcasing India” to the World.Our global initiative is inspired by a great purpose – a purpose which lets your mind transcend limitations and you find yourself in a whole new ecosphere with different partner countries on board, helping you grow, without being limited by any geographic boundaries.

Our endeavour is to ensure that each member country derives the maximum number of opportunities in terms of joint ventures, intercountry collaborations, business tie-ups or investments and witnesses many more such glorious chapters going ahead – creating a whole new economic order.We have identified 3 vital pillars: BUSINESS, where we promote youth, MSMEs, start-ups and big corporate houses; KNOWLEDGE, where we aim to give education a whole new holistic approach and CULTURE where we create a fusion of intercountry performances never seen before.

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Revitalizing the India- Korea Strategic Partnership

Friday, August 12th, 2016

Despite India’s new “ACT EAST" policy nothing seems to have changed on the ground as far as India’s engagement with the East is concerned. Actually in some cases, bilateral relations between some regional countries have gone from bad to worse.

Korea is such a case in point. Only a few years ago the trade growth rate between India and Korea was among the highest. Now it has come to be among the lowest. It used to be thirty percent a year, but now it has come down to around three percent a year, The trade target of $40 billion by 2015 is all but forgotten.By the end of 2015, trade was stagnant around $18 billion and the trade deficit against India is said to have reached $8 billion. Furthermore, CEPA has become completely dysfunctional. It has failed to provide any new impetus to the business relations between the two countries.

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Five Principle Components to Revitalize the India- Korea Strategic Alliance

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

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India- Korea Strategic Partnership has become completely dysfunctional and has completely failed to have any deterrent effect on the fast deteriorating "Balance of Forces" in the region. if something is  not done soon to revitalize the alliance, damage to India- Korea alliance will become permanent and  it will become impossible to repair  the alliance for long time to come.

Here are my Five Principle Components to Revitalize the India- Korea Strategic Alliance

1. Acknowledge that India or Korea alone cannot stop the fast changing “balance of forces” in the Indian Ocean and in the East Asian region at large.Developing the common threat perception is urgent need of the hour.

2) Acknowledge Indian and Korean Naval cooperation with regional navies will be very critical for keeping the SLOCs open and free for use of all in the Indian Ocean.Developing the conceptual framework that India and Korea defense cooperation can have positive effect in stabilizing the fast deteriorating situation in the region is of paramount importance in revitalizing the alliance

3) Acknowledge Defense of South China Sea is interconnected with the defense of Bay of Bengal and East & West Sea..Have a conceptual model of ‘inter connecting of strategic interests” between India and Korea. It can help in building the stronger foundation to have sustainable India- Korea defense cooperation for the longer term.

4) Acknowledge cooperation between Japanese and Korean naval forces will be very critical in keeping the east and South China Sea open for international trade.  Development  of any serious  difference  between  these two countries  will  have serious consequences for the whole region.   Other regional countries such as Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia are also important. But these two countries are most critical for the defense of East Asia. India needs to work on this bilateral alliance on priority basis. India as a serious stake holder  in the region and good friend of both countries should leave no stone upturned to make sure these two navies works together as much as possible in the defense of “open sea” principle.

5 Acknowledge USA is fast loosing grip on the situation. Era of USA led East Asia is on the verge of ending. However India and Korea must coordinate together with USA to keep the balance of forces in the region as long as possible deep into the future. Do not give up on USA yet.

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Plans to Wage Peace on Korean Peninsula Gaining Momentum

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

The Korea Peace Movement is a gathering of people focused on bringing about a comprehensive definition of peace to the Korean peninsula. But while one may think that this revolves mostly around the conflict between North and South that has existed on the peninsula for half a decade, Dr. Lakhvinder Singh, the director of the Korea Peace Movement, has a different perspective.

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India's move on China expansion

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

Since the eruption of South China Sea crisis in East Asia, a serious debate has started in India about possible ways to respond to the crisis. In normal circumstances it should not have bothered India much about what happens in this part of the world, however, the fast changing strategic balance of forces in East Asia has started worrying Indian strategic thinkers and policy makers.

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Memorandum of Understanding signed between Korea Fine Art Association and Cultural Centre of Vijayawada Andhra Pradesh

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015


Today Korea Fine Art Association, a cultural association in Korea, and Cultural Centre of Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh signed a MOU to promote cultural cooperation between two countries in down town Seoul in South Korea.

Korea and India have many cultural similarities including marriage institution, family name tradition, deep love and respect for art, appreciation and preference for literature and language, co-existence of Buddhism faith, festival celebrations, and certain other cultural practices observed in both countries.

Since both KFFA and CCV have been principally promoting regional culture, cultural practices, literature works, indigenous traditional talents, art paintings, sculptures, and several other related skills, the objectives and activities of both KFFA and CCV have considerable harmony.

With mutual appreciation for the contribution of each other in their respective geographical regions, towards promoting cross border cultural harmony, cohesion, and universal cultural relationships, both KFFA and CCV desire to co-operate and collaborate with each other on areas of common interest and so as to broad base their visibility, relations, patronage, and functional activities. 

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