KOICA President Sohn Hyuk-sang discusses measures for economic, social cooperation with Pacific region at high-level development cooperation conference with Pacific Island Countries
-High-level development cooperation conference with Pacific Island Countries held in Vanuatu on Aug. 12, attended by economic ministers and development cooperation organizations of Korea, U.S., UK, Japan, etc.
-“Korea is a trustworthy partner for the Blue Economy (which seeks the sustainable development of the marine environment) of Pacific Island Countries,” said President of KOICA Sohn Hyuk-sang
-Key cooperation measures in the areas of marine environment, clean energy reviewed
President of KOICA Sohn Hyuk-sang attended the 3rd Regional Development Partners Roundtable on the occasion of the Forum Economic Ministers Meetings (FEMM) of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), held in Port Vila, Vanuatu on Aug. 12.
*PIF(Pacific Islands Forum): A Pacific regional cooperative body founded in 1971, comprising 18 member countries. Korea has been participating as a dialogue partner since 1995. This year’s PIF was held in Fiji on July 11.
*PIF FEMM(Pacific Islands Forum, Forum Economic Ministers Meeting): A ministerial meeting hosted by the PIF where economic ministers gather to discuss current regional economic issues and measures for cooperation.
The 3rd Regional Development Partners Roundtable was held to discuss implementation measures for the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent of the Pacific Island Countries and measures for support from dialogue partner countries. Economic ministers from 13 member countries and high-level officials from development cooperation organizations of PIF dialogue partners Korea, U.S., UK, and Japan attended the roundtable.
*2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent: A strategy encompassing a vision for the joint development of the Pacific region, adopted by the PIF Leaders Meeting on July 14, 2022
*PIF member countries: Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, French Polynesia, New Caledonia
*Thirteen out of 18 member countries attended this PIF FEMM; Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands were absent
It is estimated that Pacific Islands incur an average annual economic loss of over 1.075 billion dollars due to natural disasters resulting from geographical characteristics. In addition, the tourism industry, which is a major source of income for Pacific Island Countries, has been suspended due to COVID-19, greatly impacting the economy. This roundtable focused on climate change, speedy recovery from disasters and crises, and measures for sustainable development.
Participants sought measures to implement the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent in order to stimulate employment, trade, and investment in PIF member countries amid a situation of economic recession due to COVID-19. In addition, to drive the Pacific region’s economy in the short-term, PIF member countries, donor countries, and civil society discussed measures for cooperation within the Blue Pacific Economic Strategy.
Through this conference, KOICA reviewed integrated support plans for grant projects that link various development sectors such as environment, infrastructure, and digital with development cooperation partners including donor countries and international organizations.
At the roundtable, President of KOICA Sohn Hyuk-sang said Korea is “a trustworthy partner in the area of marine environment protection, a key topic of interest for Pacific Island Countries.” He added, “To support the economic recovery of PIF member countries, we will actively cooperate to guarantee the social participation of vulnerable groups, protect the marine environment and manage resources to realize the Blue Pacific Economy, and facilitate transition to clean energy.” Emphasizing that the main theme of the 2030 Busan World Expo is “sustainable oceans,” President Sohn requested support from participants for Busan’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo.
Korea was selected as the host country of the 10th Our Ocean Conference, set to take place in 2025, at the UN Ocean Conference held in Lisbon in June.
Meanwhile, KOICA is mainly cooperating with Pacific Island Countries in the areas of climate adaptation, marine fisheries, health, etc. Since its establishment, KOICA has provided total support (grants) of 197 million dollars for 30 years as of last year to 14 Pacific Island Countries. Currently, together with the Green Climate Fund, KOICA is supporting the construction and operation of agricultural solar power facilities in Fiji, and is supporting the strengthening of health capabilities in Kiribati with the World Health Organization (WHO).
President of KOICA Sohn Hyuk-sang (fifth from left) participates in the 3rd Regional Development Partners Roundtable on the occasion of the Forum Economic Ministers Meetings (FEMM) of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), held in Port Vila, Vanuatu on Aug. 12
On Aug. 11, President of KOICA Sohn Hyuk-sang (second from right) meets with Rebecca Price, USAID Country Coordinator of Papua New Guinea & Vanuatu, on the occasion of the 3rd Regional Development Partners Roundtable on the occasion of the Forum Economic Ministers Meetings (FEMM) of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), held in Port Vila, Vanuatu.