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Korea and Central Asia Work Together to Promote Good Governance
Date : 2016-08-25 Read : 1080
The Ministry of the Interior led a score of public officials to travel to Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan on August 15 and share their experiences in public administration with the two countries. Aside from the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Government Legislation, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Ministry of Personnel Management, Korea Post, and the Korea Intellectual Property Office joined the Korean delegation visiting the countries.

The Korean delegation held the “Korea-Uzbekistan Cooperation Forum on Public Governance” at the Academy of Public Administration of Uzbekistan on August 17, jointly with the Uzbek Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade.

The Forum started on 9:30 am (local time) with the keynote speech by the Korean Minister of the Interior. Minister Hong Yun-sik of the Interior spoke about the importance of public administration in Korea’s economic and social development. After the Forum, the National Archives of Korea and the Central State Archives of the Republic of Uzbekistan signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in records management.

During the Forum held in Tashkent, Korean officials shared their knowledge and knowhow in public administration. The Ministry of the Interior talked about the Government Integrated Data Center, sharing of administrative information, and national records management. The Ministry of Justice presented the information system of criminal justice services; the Ministry of Health and Welfare touched upon maternal and child health care and disease outbreak management; the Ministry of Government Legislation talked about its legislation information system; the Ministry of Personnel Management touched upon its e-learning system; the Korea Post talked about its postal logistics system; and the Korea Intellectual Property Office introduced its e-patent system. In addition, Professor Seo, Sun-sik of Chuncheon National University of Education talked about how his university nurtures faculty members.

After the Cooperation Forum, Minister Hong had meetings with high-ranking government officials of Uzbekistan: First Deputy Prime Minister Azimov, Minister Mirzakhidov of Information Technologies and Communications, and Prosecutor General Abdullaev. Minister Hong discussed with them how to expand the bilateral cooperation in public administration between the two countries, especially in the areas of e-government.

The ties between Korea and Uzbekistan are especially meaningful. To Korea, Uzbekistan was the first country where a Korean senior government official landed a job after his retirement as a high-ranking government official of the foreign government. Mr. Kim Nam-seok, the former Vice Minister of the Interior of Korea, now serves as the Vice Minister of Information Technologies and Communications in Uzbekistan. After Mr. Kim Nam-seok, the former Deputy Minister for Personnel Management, Mr. Kim Hong-gab, was appointed as the Vice President of the Academy of Public Administration in Uzbekistan in 2015. And Professor Lee Chul-soo served as the Vice President of the Tashkent University of Information Technologies.

Building up on the solid bilateral cooperation between the two countries, the Korean government sent out a large number of officials to Uzbekistan this time upon request from the Uzbek government. Taking this opportunity, those who joined the visit to Uzbekistan worked hard to share their best practices in e-government and personnel management and create a friendly environment for Korean businesses entering into the Uzbek market.

In addition, thanks to the successful operation of the Korea-Uzbekistan E-Government Cooperation Center for three years from 2013 through 2015, Korea’s export volume of e-government systems have increased significantly. Even after the Cooperation Center closed, e-government projects jointly launched by Korea and Uzbekistan continued to receive support, giving impetus to the bilateral cooperation in the area of public administration.

Leaving Uzbekistan, the Korean delegation continued their trip to Baku, Azerbaijan. On August 19, the Korea-Azerbaijan Cooperation Forum on Public Governance was held at Four Seasons Hotel Baku jointly by the Korean Ministry of the Interior and the Azerbaijani State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations. On the occasion of the Forum, the two organizers signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in e-government. During the Forum, the Korean officials presented a number of best practices of Korea, such as online public service portal, Government Integrated Data Center, administrative information sharing system, archives management, maternal and child health care, and disease outbreak management.

After the Forum, Minister Hong had a series of high-level talks with Inam Karimov, chairman of the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations and Minister Ramin Guluzade of Communications and High Technologies. Minister Hong discussed ways of cooperation in public administration, especially in the area of e-government. Thanks to his visit to Azerbaijan, the Korean government established a high-level intergovernmental network with Azerbaijan for the first time. Azerbaijan gained its independence in 1991, and showed much interest in how Korea has achieved such rapid economic growth. As Azerbaijan is recently putting much effort to diversify its flagship industries from energy industry to agriculture, ICT, and shipping, the Korean government expects to work closely with Azerbaijan in a wider range of areas including public administration.

Before his trip, Minister Hong commented, “With a score of Korean officials travelling together, they aim to elevate Korea’s international stature and further enhance partnership with countries around the world by sharing their experiences and knowhow with the international community.” He then continued, “They will reach out to a wider part of the world, going to Africa and Europe, and include a wider range of areas of cooperation, thereby promoting good governance and contributing to sustainable development of the international community.”