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President Lee to launch four-nation tour of Latin America

President Lee Myung-bak will embark on a four-nation whistle-stop trip to Latin America on June 17. Arriving in Los Cabos, Mexico, the Korean leader will take part in the seventh session of the G20 Summit slated from June 18 to 19, followed by a visit to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, to attend the UN Conference on Sustainable Development -- also dubbed Rio +20 -- from June 20 to 21.

Accompanied by First Lady Kim Yoon-ok throughout the journey, President Lee Myung-bak will then make an official visit to Chile from June 21 to 23. Next, the presidential state visit to Colombia set from June 23 to 25 will mark the first visit by a Korean head of state to the South American nation.

President Lee emphasizes green growth at the 2012 Los Cabos G20 Summit and Rio+20

President Lee will attend the upcoming G20 Summit in Los Cabos from June 18 to 19, where he is set to engage in a multilateral dialogue aimed at the continued promotion of economic growth and sustainable development against the backdrop of the volatile global economic situation, fueled by the ongoing eurozone crisis. The member states will address the issues of managing the eurozone crisis, coordination on macroeconomic policies for the recovery and growth of the global economy, strengthening the international financial system, and progress on financial regulatory reforms, alongside trade and green growth.

President Lee Myung-bak at the 2010 Seoul G20 Summit (photo courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae)

President Lee is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech at the B20 Business Summit taking place on June 17 to 18 ahead of the G20 gathering to incorporate the business sector’s recommendations into the G20’s policy agenda. At the economic brainstorming session on June 18, the Korean president will press for an expanded role of governments and corporations in tackling the global economic crisis and leading sustainable development, in front of an audience of chief executives from the business organizations of the G20 members and officials from governments and international organizations.

Moving to the next destination, the president will demonstrate the Korean government’s unwavering commitment to green growth policies, pitching his vision of pursuing “ecosystemic development” globally. He will propose Korea’s green growth initiative as an “inclusive action strategy” combating the economic crisis and bridging the gap between the haves and the have-nots, in the wake of climate change and the progressive loss of biodiversity. The Korean president is also expected to announce plans to help developing countries achieve greener economic growth in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.

On the margins of the Rio+20 Summit, President Lee will attend the signing ceremony for a treaty among Korea and the 14 other nations that will acknowledge the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) as an official international organization. Established in June 2010 as an initiative of the Korean government, the GGGI seeks to disseminate green growth models across the world as a shared global asset with a strong determination towards transitioning to a green economy. Upon ratification by participation member states, the GGGI will officially launch this October in the sidelines of the Pre-COP 18 ministerial meeting in Seoul, held to lay the groundwork for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 18), set for December in Qatar.

President Lee Myung-bak at the 2010 Seoul G20 SummitPresident Lee Myung-bak (right) celebrates the opening of the first overseas office of the GGGI in Copenhagen, Denmark on May 11, 2011 (photo courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae).

On June 21, President Lee will participate in the Global Green Growth Forum and give another keynote address as the representative of one of the founding government partners. The forum is initiated and hosted by the Danish government, which is committed to setting paths for public-private partnership and finding new green avenues for growth on the international agenda.

President Lee to visit Chile and Colombia, consolidate bilateral cooperation in trade, resources

After Mexico and Brazil, President Lee will pay visits to Chile and Colombia on the invitation of his respective counterparts and converse on matters of common interest, marking the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties with both South American nations.

On June 22, Presidents Lee is set to hold a summit talk with President Sebastián Piñera where the two sides are expected to assess the rapidly growing bilateral ties and share visions for future development in economy, resource development, infrastructure construction, and renewable energy.

In Colombia, the president will hold a summit with President Juan Manuel Santos Calderon on June 25 and discuss ways to further deepen the bilateral strategic partnership in trade, energy, science, and technology along with development cooperation.

During his stay, President Lee plans to visit the war memorial to pay tribute to Colombia’s fallen soldiers and meet with Korean War veterans and their bereaved, marking the day commemorating the outbreak of the Korean War on the 25th.

By Hwang Dana Staff Writer

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