[Cultural Policy Bulletin Vol.3] Diplomatic Policy of GyeongGi-do Province
GyeongGi-do Province’s Diplomatic Policy Department was formed in October 2014. The department is composed of three teams and 20 persons. It has twelve major tasks including the management, planning and coordination of international policy, planning and coordination of international events and establishment and operation of networks of international exchange and cooperation. GyeongGi-do Province’s Diplomatic Policy Department’s major policies are focused on the following.
1. To set the direction of GyeongGi-do Province’s diplomacy and exchange.
2. To strengthen diplomatic cooperation with Asian countries in order to grow together.
3. To establish partnership with countries in Europe and the Americas in relation to the province’s major projects.
4. To conduct GyeongGi-do Province’s projects of official development assistance (ODA).
5. To provide support for GyeongGi-do Province’s diplomatic capacity-building.
First, GyeongGi-do Province has selected nine countries (China, Japan, Taiwan, Mongolia, Australia, Canada, US, Germany and France) and 19 regions as the province’s partners for diplomacy and exchange. This is to cooperate with them and to ensure the efficiency and positive results of the province’s major projects and economic invigoration. GyeongGi-do Province currently has sisterhood ties with ten countries and 15 regions and has friendly (economic) cooperation agreements with 18 countries and 24 regions.
Second, GyeongGi-do Province has carried out mutual cooperation projects in an attempt to strengthen its diplomatic cooperation with Asian countries and to grow together. Examples of such projects are as follows: ODA projects in agriculture and forestry (three northeastern provinces in China), exchange program involving adolescents (Aichi Prefecture in Japan) and dispatch of civil servants (Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan and Liaoning Province in China). The province has also dispatched its delegations to foreign countries in order to expand and strengthen exchange and to carry out major provincial projects. In addition, the province has organized and participated in international conferences to strengthen global networks.
GyeongGi-do Province has strengthened international exchange activities linked to its major projects with partners in Europe and the Americas as follows: Renewal of the implementation plan with Canada’s British Columbia and Australia’s Queensland (2017 to 2019), Sustainable cooperation with the US state of Virginia (policy meeting), Germany’s Bavaria and France’s Île-de-France. As for the partnership with Île-de-France, GyeongGi-do Province is discussing with the French region so that it can cooperate with GyeongGi Cultural Foundation in arts and culture exchange.
Moreover, the province has invigorated its international exchange activities through human resources. To be more specific, it has strengthened its civil servant exchange programs while also increasing the number of civil servants dispatched. The province has also made efforts to build capacity for global leadership by participating in international conferences and by giving presentations on those occasions.
Fourth, GyeongGi-do Province has selected seven strategic partner countries to carry out its ODA projects while also exploring and supporting emerging markets. In relation to its major projects, the province has shared its best practices including the Ddabok House (the province’s housing project) through ODA. GyeongGi-do Province’s Smart Class in Mongolia (the province’s brand project), Project for “independent villages with optimum technology” in Cambodia and Myanmar (the province’s brand project), Training program inviting civil servants from five major partner countries.
Fifth, the province has built a platform for diplomatic cooperation focused on demand. In order to ensure interactive capacity-building, the province has studied the current status of international exchange in the province’s different cities and counties. The province has also translated and proofread relevant documents for each partner country’s language. The province also provides working-level consulting on international exchange, shares information on international exchange, provides regular working-level training programs on international exchange, runs a global forum, offers the province’s working-level manual on international exchange and has a pool of 152 interpreters and translators.
One of the success stories of GyeongGi-do Province’s ODA projects is the Smart Class of the Korean Language in Mongolia. This project had the following achievements:
1. Invigoration of Korea’s diplomacy using the Korean Wave.
2. Basis for the founding of Mongolia’s first association of Korean language teachers.
3. Local students’ interest in learning the Korean language thanks to the combination of ICT and language learning.
4. Positive image of Korea.
The project has several factors of success. First, GyeongGi-do Province meticulously studied local needs and strengths (e.g. the recipient country’s environment, local demand for the Korean language and linguistic similarity between Korean and Mongolian). Second, the province also made use of its own strength: development knowhow based on its excellent ICT capacity and teaching method. The project provided and expanded an opportunity for global co-prosperity.
GyeongGi-do Province has also invited civil servants from its partner countries such as Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia. On the occasion of such training programs, the province shared its exemplary cases of public administration including its overseas Ddabok community, Young Ideas (public contest), urban regeneration projects and new town development policy. In this way, the province has strengthened its status on the global scene while establishing a friendly cooperation system with its partner countries.
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Writer/ Foreign Policy Division of GyeongGi-do Province
Writer/ GyeongGi Cultural Foundation
About/ Everything about the GyeongGi arts and culture, GGCF
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