The Korea Herald


Asia to boost joint efforts for better legislation

By Korea Herald

Published : June 28, 2012 - 19:37

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Asian officials and experts on Thursday adopted a set of recommendations calling for regional cooperation to tackle common legislative challenges as they wrapped up a two-day forum in Seoul.

At the second annual Asian Forum of Legislative Information Affairs, the participants agreed to share information and experiences and enhance cross-border exchanges to build partnerships for legislative advancement.

They acknowledged that an advanced legislative system is key for economic and social development and pledged to cooperate to interchange and train legislative human resources.

“We are determined to vigorously pursue concrete steps to facilitate dialogue and enhance cooperation as a precursor to successfully resolving our common legislative challenges,” they said in a joint statement.

More than 1,500 participants, including four justice ministers, from 20 countries, participated in the two-day forum hosted by the Ministry of Government Legislation at KINTEX in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province.

The top delegates, in particular, stressed the need for legal support for expatriates. They promised to better provide information on legal codes and regulations on foreign investment, citizenship and other affairs crucial to their business and life in foreign countries.

The participants acknowledged that the cooperation between Asian countries is still limited. They agreed to facilitate the annual forum to build closer partnerships for legal reforms.

Korea has been hosting the forum since 2011, seeking to establish itself as a center of legislative collaboration among Asian countries. The inaugural forum was held in Incheon last year, attracting some 2,000 participants from 30 countries.
Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik delivers a speech at the 2nd Asian Forum of Legislative Information Affairs at KINTEX in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province on Wednesday. (Ministry of Government Legislation) Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik delivers a speech at the 2nd Asian Forum of Legislative Information Affairs at KINTEX in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province on Wednesday. (Ministry of Government Legislation)

This year, under the theme “Toward Co-prosperity and Co-existence through Legislative Advancement Across Asia,” participants covered four major topics such as economic development and legislation, corporate legislation, legislative participation and legal support for foreign residents.

During the opening session, Luca Castellani, head of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, explained legal complexity in cross-border trade.

The U.N. legal official said that countries need to develop uniform law for international trade, insisting that “trade law reform is necessary for sustainable economic growth.”

As for the corporate legislation issue, participants discussed, in particular, laws related to China’s land and labor management systems, which commonly pose problems for foreign enterprises in China. The forum also discussed Korea’s developed information technology and e-government policy.

On the second day of the forum, participants also discussed legal issues for multi-cultural society. Kim Yi-seon, research fellow at Korean Women’s Development Institute noted that the number of international marriages continues to grow across Asian countries. But the divorce rate is also rising, she said.

However, because of legislative differences between countries, personal disputes may breed international conflict, she added.

Also on the second day, Kim Wook, a professor at the department of political science at Paichai University, offered his view on future directions for Korea’s multicultural policy.

He noted that there are currently over 1.3 million foreigners residing in Korea. But the current multicultural policy is focused particularly on marriage immigrants while dismissing the majority foreign laborers.

Beyond the four main issues, other topics addressed at the forum included land and construction related legislation, disaster prevention and reduction and green growth legislation.

Subjects such as agricultural modernization, legislation for small and medium-sized enterprises, land and construction related legislation and inter-Korean legislation were also covered during the forum.

Minister of Government Legislation Jeong Sun-tae said that the inter-Asia forum would play a positive role in achieving sustainable economic progress.

“Through the forum this year, we’ve established a solid network with participating countries,” he said.

“Hopefully I’d like to see more countries participating in this form, and expand more exchanges also visit each other country for legislation cooperation,” he added.

By Oh Kyu-wook (