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Korea’s yearly aid to emerging countries tops $1 billion

Korea’s financial aid to underdeveloped and developing countries has surpassed $1 billion per annum.

The Export-Import Bank of Korea said Wednesday that the yearly amount of “official development assistance” has reached $1.17 billion.

This means each Korean offered an average of 27,730 won to underdeveloped and developing countries, according to the state-run bank.

Asia was the main target of the ODA, accounting for 65.2 percent, followed by Africa with 15.5 percent, and South & Central America with 7.2 percent.

By nation, Vietnam topped the list with percentage of 10.6 percent out of Korea’s total assistance. Other major targets included Cambodia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Over the past few years, Korea Eximbank continued to increase its provision of economic development and cooperation funds to promote economic cooperation with emerging nations.

The EDCF, being provided at a minimum interest rate of 1 percent, are mainly used for the construction of industrial and residential infrastructure in the developing world.

The bank’s policy focus has been on financing projects to build water supply facilities and waste water disposal plants.

Last year, under the initiative of chairman & CEO Kim Yong-hwan, the state-run bank met to map out further development of the National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia in Phnom Penh.

After Korea Eximbank and the Economic Development Cooperation Fund of Korea pushed to enhance what was then a vocational training center by providing loans, the Cambodian government upgraded it to the status of a national college.

The EDCF has offered the college $28 million under the Korean government’s policy to expand cooperation with emerging countries over the past few years.

Seoul has dispatched a group of professors and operated a Korean language school in the institute.

Pich Sophoan, Secretary of State of Ministry of Labor of Cambodia, said he hopes that the college’s development will be linked to the nation’s improvement in income level.

Bun Phearin, president of the National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia, said the case has been a successful model with the help of Korea’s systematic aid and effective management.

Exim Bank executives pointed out that this is only part of the expanding interchanges with the Southeast Asian country.

By Kim Yon-se (
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Korea Herald daum