By Chang Jae-soon
BERN, Jan. 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye arrived in Switzerland on Saturday for a state visit to Bern and an annual meeting of global business leaders and politicians at the Swiss ski resort of Davos.
Park is the first South Korean president to make a state visit to the European country since the two sides opened diplomatic relations in 1963. Officials said Switzerland invites only one foreign leader for a state visit a year and that this year's invitation to Park shows that the country hopes for greater cooperation with South Korea.
Park is scheduled to hold a summit with Swiss President Didier Burkhalter on Monday to talk about ways to expand trade and investment and strengthen cooperation in vocational education, science and technology and global issues, officials said.
Switzerland is known for its highly skilled labor force, and a key point of Park's trip is to glean information from the Swiss on fostering talented workers. She is scheduled to pay a visit to a vocational school, officials said.
From Bern, Park will move to the ski resort of Davos for this year's meeting of the World Economic Forum, an annual meeting of global business leaders and politicians, also known as the Davos Forum. She will be the second South Korean president to attend the forum, after her predecessor, Lee Myung-bak.
Park plans to deliver a keynote speech at the forum to champion her "creative economy" vision, officials said. She also plans to hold a series of one-on-one meetings with global business leaders, such as the CEOs of CISCO, Qualcomm, Saudi Aramco and Siemens, to call for their investment in Korea.
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