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GCF, World Bank offices open in Songdo

GCF, World Bank offices open in Songdo

Multilateral institutions to coordinate with Korea to support developing economies

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Published : 2013-12-04 20:26
Updated : 2013-12-04 20:26

President Park Geun-hye speaks at the opening ceremony of the Green Climate Fund headquarters in Songdo, Incheon, Wednesday. (Yonhap News)

President Park Geun-hye said Wednesday that Korea would fully support developing and underdeveloped economies in tackling climate change through the Green Climate Fund.

At the ceremony for the opening of the GCF’s permanent headquarters in Songdo, Incheon, the president said that Korea would continue to invest in technologies such as renewable energy, carbon capture and storage and energy management systems as part of efforts to make the world more environmentally friendly.

She urged not only the members of the GCF but also the rest of the international community to join forces to actively engage in this global movement.

“We pledge to fully support developing economies to counter climate change,” Park said.

“We will also help them access key technologies and help them increase their capabilities to combat climate change by effectively using (the fund’s) budget.”

The Korean president added that combating climate change through technology investments will be part of the country’s economic growth policy.

Hela Cheikhrouhou, the executive director of the GCF, said, “The fund will be a dynamic and innovative driver to combat climate change, so it is highly appropriate that our headquarters will be in the heart of technologically innovative Songdo.”

The establishment of the GCF headquarters in Korea was made in accordance with the agreement of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change during a conference in Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.

Also in Songdo on the same day, the World Bank Group opened a new office where Asia’s fourth-largest economy will coordinate with the global financial institution to share Korea’s economic development know-how with developing countries. The WB Korea office will be the first international financial organization branch that Korea has hosted.

“Korea has shown the world that it’s possible to make a leap from poverty to prosperity in a single generation,” World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim said at the opening ceremony.

World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim (right) and Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok attend a joint news conference at the opening ceremony for the World Bank’s Korean office. (Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)
“Our relationship with Korea will be an integral part of our moves to learn the lessons of development and also to boost private sector investment, from Africa to Asia. Korea has demonstrated that any successful development requires private-sector support and investment.”

Korea’s relationship with the World Bank Group dates back to 1955 when it received financial aid to improve and develop its economy through key infrastructure investments.

Korea’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok said that Korea now hopes to be an active donor, and combat poverty and share prosperity worldwide through its regional World Bank Group office in Songdo.

“I look forward to the office establishing itself as a knowledge-sharing hub that systematically transfers the economic development experience of Korea to developing countries,” Hyun said.

“The Korea office will become a platform for joint cooperative projects between Korea and the World Bank Group.”

By Park Hyong-ki (hkp@heraldcorp.com)

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