- Korea and LAC, "Seeking mutually beneficial cooperation through the K-Digital New Deal"
The "Korea-LAC (Latin America and the Caribbean) Digital Cooperation Forum" was co-hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (led by Minister Chung Eui-yong) and the Ministry of Science and ICT (led by Minister Choi Kiyoung) on March 17, with high-level officials, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Science and ICT as well as ministers and vice-ministers of five LAC countries in attendance.
The Forum was held under the theme of "Partnership towards Digital Innovation and Inclusiveness". The Forum is the first international event that seeks the globalization of the Korean New Deal and cooperation in the digital area in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
From the LAC side, eight minister and vice minister-level officials from five countries – Costa Rica, Guatemala, Brazil, Colombia, and Honduras – attend the Forum in person. In addition, eight high-level officials from seven countries – Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, El Salvador, Chile, Colombia, and Argentina – participate in the Forum through pre-recorded videos.
* Officials attending the Forum in person (8): (minister-level) Rodolfo Solano Quirós Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica, ▴ Pedro Brolo Vila Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, ▴ Marcos Cesar Pontes Minister Science, Technology, and Innovations of Brazil, ▴ Rodolfo Zea Navarro Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Columbia/ (vice-minister level)▴ Carlos Martínez Alvarado Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, ▴ Shirley Aguilar Barrera Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, ▴ José Mario Reyes Hernández Deputy Minister of Public Innovation, ▴Adriana Padilla Leal Vice-Minister of Creativity and Orange Economy of the Ministry of Culture
From the Korean side, experts from the government, public agencies and relevant business including Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Science and ICT and, Ministry of the Interior and Safety, Korea Information Society Development Institute, The Institute for Information communication Technology Planning and evaluation, Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement, LX, LG CNS attended the event.
In strict compliance with the COVID-19 quarantine requirements, the number of in-person participants is limited to around 50, and other participants from Korea and LAC take part in the Forum online in real-time.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Chung Eui-yong said in his opening speech that "the Forum is a starting point of our efforts to find ways to create mutually beneficial cooperation for the two sides by connecting Korea’s Digital New Deal policy and LAC's digital transition policies." He added, "We hope to share with the LAC countries the values of innovation and inclusiveness that the Korea government pursues."
Moreover, Foreign Minister Chung stated that Korea, together with LAC countries, will explore cooperation projects tailored to each country’s needs by sending public-private delegations in the e-government and ICT areas, and that Korea will continue to work together to reduce the digital divide by sharing its experiences and exemplary cases in digital transition.
Minister of Science and ICT Choi Kiyoung said in his welcome remarks, "We are experiencing a shift of paradigm in the technology innovation called digital transition and it means a great deal to share the Korean version of New Deal policies with LAC countries at the Korea-LAC Digital Cooperation Forum at this point of time."
In particular, Minister Choi explained that the Korean government focuses on boosting the D.N.A ecosystem through the Digital New Deal and enhancing the national competitiveness by building contactless infrastructure including key areas such as education and SOC. This forum will be a milestone in solidifying Korea’s bond with LAC countries.
In his congratulatory remarks, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica Rodolfo Solano mentioned that Korea is a global model and leader in the digitalization of economy and public services. He went on to say that Costa Rica hopes to follow the case of Korea by reducing the digital divide through various policies including establishing information and communications infrastructure.
He also mentioned that the Forum where Korea and LAC countries discuss digital cooperation is a very special opportunity and will be mutually beneficial with efforts for cooperation such as sharing best cases.
In Session 1, under the theme of “Future Prospects of Korea-LAC Digital Cooperation”, the participants shared Korea’s Digital New Deal and digital transition policies of LAC major countries such as Costa Rica, Columbia, Argentina, and sought ways to find cooperation opportunities.
In Session 2, under the theme of “Korea-LAC Cooperation on 5G Network,” the participants discussed 5G network plans and the current state of Colombia, Chile, and Peru as well as ways to cooperate with Korea.
On March 18th (Thur), the second day of the event, the participants will continue their discussions △ (Session 3) on "Digital Government and Cyber Security Cooperation" and (Session 4) on "Smart Cities and Smart Farms Cooperation."
As the Forum is the first multilateral international conference in the digital area to be hosted by the Korean government since its announcement of the comprehensive plan for the Korean New Deal Initiative, it was held through a "Team Korea" cooperation among different government agencies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Science and ICT, the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
In addition, the Forum is expected to contribute significantly to advancing post-COVID-19 Korea-LAC relations by meeting LAC countries' requests for cooperation in the ICT and digital field, one of Korea's strong areas, and resuming in-person diplomacy including bilateral meetings with ministers and vice-ministers of LAC countries visiting Korea.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Science and ICT will continue to support Korean companies’ bids to build a presence in LAC by developing ways of cooperation in 5G, digital government, cyber security, and smart cities and smart farms that were discussed at this Forum into substantive projects.
For further information, please contact Deputy Director Park Chiseon (E-mail : email@example.com) of the MInistry of Science and ICT.