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Korea shares its development knowledge

Korea continues to share its economic development experience and know-how, gained from its simultaneous economic development and political democratization. More recently, the development of e-government has emerged as a benchmark among nations across the globe.

Knowledge Sharing Program

On February 27, Minister of Strategy and Finance Bahk Jaewan and Mexican Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation on knowledge-sharing and consultation activities, through Korea’s Knowledge Sharing Program (www.ksp.go.kr).

The latest example of the KSP was made on the occasion of the Korean finance minister’s visit to Mexico City to attend the Meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. The MOU signed with Mexico is expected to step up bilateral relations based on an agreement between the leaders of the two countries made in July 2010.

Through the KSP, the two sides will expand the range of cooperation and high-level policy discussions to foster a successful development model. According to the Ministry of Finance and Strategy, Mexico has already expressed interest in Korea’s strategies for developing the metal machinery industry and human resources.

Minister of Strategy and Finance Bahk Jaewan and Mexican Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade shake hands after signing a Memorandum of Understanding on February 27
Minister of Strategy and Finance Bahk Jaewan and Mexican Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade shake hands after signing a Memorandum of Understanding on February 27 (photo courtesy of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance).

In light of growing requests from developing countries to share its development know-how, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance introduced the KSP in 2004. Combining the country’s development model and expert manpower in diverse fields, the program has contributed to the economic and social development of partnering countries.

Lately, the KSP has primarily focused on providing bilateral and multilateral advisory services on economic development strategies and government policy-making to Asian nations in close geographical and cultural proximity, generating tangible results.

Under the program, Korea assisted with the establishment of the Vietnam Development Bank in 2006 and designation of the Free Industrial Economic Zones in Uzbekistan in 2008, while supporting the establishment of mid- and long-term socio-economic development policies, including reforms to the Treasury Management and Budget Execution Systems of Indonesia and implementation of the SME-Support System in Cambodia. In Vietnam, a long-time KSP partner, Korea assisted in the launch a capacity-building program aimed at enhancing the long-term macroeconomic forecast for the country for a set period from 2011 to 2020.

Since the Lee Myung-bak administration took the office, Korea has steadily extended partnerships to the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean alongside international financial institutions like the World Bank. As of 2011, 34 countries benefited from the program, which ran nearly 300 policy consultation projects.

The MOU signed with Mexico -- the chair of the G20 this year -- demonstrates Korea’s continued effort and commitment to contributing to the dissemination of its development experience with the international community, which lay at the core of the development consensus drawn at the Seoul G20 Summit.

Korea strives to continuously take an initiating role in providing a development model for cooperation among G20 nations, following the initiative the country took in facilitating the adoption of development issues as a main item on the G20 agenda in Seoul. This year, Korea expands its partnership through the KSP with six G20 member nations including Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, Turkey, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia, while continuing to run KSP projects in 27 other countries.

Korea leads e-government development

The development of Korea’s electronic government and public procurement service solutions have also gained momentum in making inroads, expanding the base of the state’s e-procurement system overseas in Asian, South American, and African countries.

On February 27, Choi Kyu-yun, administrator of the Public Procurement Service (PPS), met with Ethiopia’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development Sufian Ahmed, and Tsegagy Abebe, director of the Public Procurement and Property Administration Agency to discuss ways to reinforce cooperative measures for the government procurement sector. Korea and Ethiopia had previously signed a MOU in September 2010 to introduce Korea’s e-procurement system.

Choi Kyu-yun, administrator of Public Procurement Service (PPS) met with Ethiopia’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development Sufian Ahmed and discussed mutual cooperation on public procurement
Choi Kyu-yun, administrator of Public Procurement Service (PPS) met with Ethiopia’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development Sufian Ahmed and discussed mutual cooperation on public procurement (photo courtesy of the Public Procurement Service).

“The volume of procurement amounts to 60 percent of the Ethiopian governmental budget,” said the Ethiopian minister. “Therefore, securing a transparency and efficiency in this regard is critical in the nation’s economic development.” The minister also expressed his will to benchmark the Korean PPS system.

Prior to his visit to Ethiopia, Choi made a visit to Tunisia on February 23 to attend the inauguration of the electronic procurement system and give a congratulatory address. “The adoption of the electronic procurement system is indispensable to ensuring the transparency and enhance the efficiency of government procurement, which leads to improvements in national competitiveness,” said Choi.

Exports of the e-government system and public procurement solution reached the USD 230-million mark last year, more than an eightfold increase compared to 2008 when President Lee Myung-bak took office, when it was at USD 27 million. Having actively pursued the digitization of the government system, the Lee administration ranked atop in both the e-Government Development Index and e-Participation Index of the biannual UN Global E-Government Survey 2010.

By Hwang Dana
Korea.net Staff Writer

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