Deputy Prime Minister Yoo will deliver a speech at an opening session of the Board of Governors in which he is expected to announce a plan to expand Korea’s contributions for sustainable growth in the Asian region by integrating and making the most of the experiences, knowledge, finances and expertise the nation has to offer.
Korea is expanding cooperation with the ADB in such areas as the establishment and contribution of the e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund and joint EDCF (Economic Development Cooperation Fund)-ADB financing. The following are excerpts of a written interview between NewsWorld and Director General Kim Yoon-kyung of the International Financial Cooperation Bureau at the Ministry of Strategy and Finance (MOSF) in which he spoke of the 50th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Question: Will you tell our readers about the gist of the 50th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank, to be held in May under the theme Building Together the Prosperity of Asia?
Answer: This year’s 50th ADB Annual Meeting will take place in Yokohama, Japan, from May 6 to 7. More than 3,000 delegates, including finance ministers and central bank governors and leaders of the international financing field from 67 member countries will participate in the event and discuss development tasks in the Asian region and how to operate the ADB under the theme.
The event will have an opening session of the Board of Governors, the business sessions in which governors deliver speeches to discuss the direction of Asia’s long-term development and ways of operating the ADB. It will also have seminars to discuss economic, financing and development issues and diverse side events, to be provided by the host country, Japan.
Q: Will you introduce Korean delegates participating in the 50th ADB Annual Meeting?
A: Participating in the annual meeting are Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Yoo Il-ho of the MOSF as Korea’s representative governor and Gov. Lee Ju-yeol of the Bank of Korea (BOK), as an alternative governor. The Korean delegation is expected to consist of related officials from such institutions as the MOSF and the BOK.
Q: Will you elaborate on efforts to strengthen Korea’s standing at the 2017 ADB Annual Meeting?
A: The ADB is one of the international financial institutions where Korea exercises significant influence. Korea ranks eighth among 67 member countries in and outside the region following Japan, the United States, China, India, Australia, Indonesia and Canada with a 5.04 percent stake and a 4.33 percent share in terms of the equity ownership and voting power, the indexes for measuring influence in the organization’s decision-making process.
The nation is a permanent member on the Board of the Directors. Korea makes not only mandatory contributions as an ADB member country corresponding to Korea’s standing, but also contributions to the Asian Development Fund designed to offer congressional loans to the poorest countries of the region. The nation is expanding cooperation with the ADB regarding such areas as the establishment and contribution of the e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund and joint EDCF (Economic Development Cooperation Fund)-ADB financing.
Deputy Prime Minister Yoo will deliver a speech at an opening session of the Board of Governors in which he is expected to announce a plan to expand Korea’s contributions for sustainable growth of the Asian region by integrating and making the most of the experiences and knowledge, finances and expertise the nation has to offer. The Korea Development Institute (KDI) will also host a seminar of the annual meeting to inform the delegates of the event of the experiences on the successful development of Korea and subsequent lessons.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) holds the ADB 50th Anniversary reception in Manila, the Philippines, on Tuesday, Feb. 21 in which Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte participated.
Q: Will you introduce Korea’s roles and plans to expand the nation’s participation in collaboration projects with the ADB and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) during the 2017 ADB Annual Meeting?
A: Last May, the ADB and AIIB signed an MOU stressing sustainable growth in areas of mutual concern, the easing of climate change, and the strengthening of regional cooperation and partnerships and agreeing to implement them. In line with their cooperation efforts, the two plans will implement a circular road project in Georgia and other candidate projects on top of the existing projects, including an expressway construction project in Pakistan and a thermal power project in Myanmar.
Regarding them, cooperation in third parties, including Korea, has yet to be discussed specifically, but Korea will make more efforts to expand Korea’s participation in collaboration projects ADB and AIIB will implement for the future development of the region. Korea also plans to explore diverse ways of boosting its role and influence by making counter proposals so the ADB and AIIB can participate in projects Korean companies are implementing or are expected to implement.
Q: Will you speak about Korea’s roles in the implementation of the “Strategy 2030,” ADB’s long-term development scheme?
A: The Strategy 2030 is a long-term development strategy the ADB will establish anew by upgrading the existing “Strategy 2020,” which is designated to cope with recent environmental changes, including a rise in regional income and expanded finances of the ADB.
In particular, balanced and inclusive growth and climate change/environmental responses have been designed as priority strategic sectors under the vision of “poverty reduction” and the establishment of support strategies tailored to meet the needs of income groups and the reforming of diverse project methods have been under intensive discussions.
Korea will aggressively join member countries’ efforts to realize their common goal by expanding its contributions to Asia’s growth based on the experiences on economic development and knowhow the nation has so far accumulated.
The nation will spare no efforts to provide diverse support so regional countries can achieve sustainable growth by implementing diverse projects with a focus on infrastructure, energy and medical area in which Korea has excellent competitiveness and knowhow and providing finances, knowledge and expertise. Korea will also make its utmost to open up the future of Asia by aggressively exploring development projects using the finances of the private sector and forming strong partnerships with other multi-development banks (MDBs), private companies and civic societies.
Q: Will you specify agendas, Korea’s roles and the fund of the EBRD 2017 Annual Meeting and Business Forum?
A: The EBRD 2017 Annual Meeting and Business Forum will be held in Cyprus under the topics of “Targeting Green and Inclusive Growth” and “Meeting Regional and Global Challenge.”
Korea currently operates two trust funds for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) wholly Korean, Korea Technical Assistance and Cooperation Fund (KTCF) and a multi-development fund for transition countries. Korea contributes and operates a combined $24.75 million after contributing an additional $4 million in 2016.
The trust funds provide financial support to such transition countries as Eastern Europe and CIS, their priority areas with a focus on providing support to such projects as the ones designed to strengthen capabilities in Korea’s strength areas, transferring of the nation’s experiences on economic development and know-sharing.
Yokohma is the venue of the 50th ADB Annual Meeting, to be held from May 6 to 7.
Q: Will you explain the situation of the Korean economy and the outlook for 2017?
A: Entering this year, the Korean economy show signs of better-than-anticipated trends thanks to the recovery of exports riding on an improving global economy. The nation’s mainstay export items, including semiconductors and display panels, have increased for the fifth consecutive month, and domestic demand like investments and consumption also shows signs of an accompanying recovery, driven by improving exports.
Accordingly, major forecast institutions, including the International Monetary Fund, the BOK and the KDI, have revised Korea’s growth between 0.1 to 0.2 percentage points upward, spreading positive views toward the situation of the Korean economy.
Such internal and external uncertainties as the pending external trade issues, the North Korean nuclear issue, household debts and corporate restructuring still remain, however, so the government is devoting itself to spreading the economic recovery to the whole of the national economy by carrying out such policies as managing economic risks, macroeconomic policies and restructuring reform.