Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell will be traveling to South Korea on Wednesday for a five day diplomatic and economic development mission.
He will hold high level meetings in both Seoul and Incheon. He will also represent Honolulu at the Asian Games, which features 13,000 participants from 45 nations in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Our Korean community is a vital and dynamic part of the City and County of Honolulu,” said Mayor Caldwell. “Starting with the arrival of the first Korean immigrants aboard the RMS Gaelic in 1903, to the fostering of the Korean independence movement in the 1920s, through the establishment of InHa University (Incheon-Hawaii University), our Korean community contributes greatly to O’ahu. It’s important to recognize, enhance, and preserve this great cultural legacy.”
Honolulu and South Korea have strong economic ties, from tourism to capital investment. Over 200,000 Koreans visited Honolulu last year alone and the city continues to work hard to further develop this market. There are four direct flights daily from Seoul to Honolulu International Airport, bringing up to 1,210 Korean visitors to O’ahu every day.
In addition, Koreans have invested in real estate projects islandwide, from affordable housing projects to golf courses. During his visit, Mayor Caldwell will be looking to further enhance these and other opportunities, including Honolulu’s healthcare sector.
Mayor Caldwell will meet with the mayors of Seoul and Incheon and key business leaders, visit the Seoul Emergency Operations Center, Gachon University Gil Hospital, and InHa University, and participate in the opening ceremonies of the 17th Asian Games in Incheon.
Per city charter, the Managing Director becomes Acting Mayor whenever the mayor leaves the State of Hawaii. Therefore, from tomorrow morning through the morning of Monday, September 22, Managing Director Ember Shinn will be Acting Mayor of the City & County of Honolulu.
The Asian Games are hosted by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and feature 13,000 athletes and officials from the 45 OCA member states. Athletes will compete in 36 different sporting events.