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Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity opens

A three-day international forum to seek solutions to a wide range of global issues will begin on Jeju on Friday, organizers said Thursday.

Themed “New Asia for Peace and Prosperity,” the 6th Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity will run through Sunday at Haevichi Hotel & Resort.

About 1,200 people will attend the now annual forum, which had so far been held biennially since its inception in 2001. Among them are 250 foreigners from 20 countries including the U.S., China, Japan, Russia, Canada and India.

Organizers say the event seeks to reach the status of the Davos Forum, an annual gathering of global political and business elites to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world.

“I sincerely expect that this forum held in Jeju, an island of world peace, will go a long way in promoting the cause of peace and prosperity in the region and worldwide,” Jeju Governor Woo Keun-min said.

The forum has expanded its scope to issues facing the entire world, broadening its focus from regional peace to economy, environment, culture and other issues.

Hosted by Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, the International Peace Foundation and the East Asia Foundation, it consists of 64 sessions including 14 sessions on peace and security, 26 sessions on economy and business administration and nine sessions on environmental issues.

Along with 17 other organizations, Norway’s word-renowned Peace Research Institute Oslo also helped organize sessions, officials said.

The forum will bring together more internationally recognized figures than before, including politicians, scholars, entrepreneurs, artists and diplomats around the world.

Among the high-profile participants are Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik, Former Philippine President Gloria Arroyo, former Prime Minister Han Seung-soo and Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan. They also include Qizheng Zhao, senior official at the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and Gareth Evans, chancellor of the Australian National University.

In particular, some 150 top-ranking Chinese business leaders will join the forum. They include CSR Corp. Ltd. Chairman Xiaogang Zhao, Ying Yeh, chairman of Nalco China, and Xu He Yi, chairman of Beijing Auto.

By Song Sang-ho (sshluck@heraldcorp.com)
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