UN agency upgrades Korea to developed economy

Lee Tae-ho, South Korea's new Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva / Courtesy of Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations Office

A United Nations agency dealing with trade and development issues decided Friday to categorize South Korea as a developed economy.

The decision was made unanimously during the 68th board meeting of the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) held at the agency's headquarters in Geneva.

This is the first time that the agency has upgraded a member nation from the developing economy group to the developed one since its establishment in 1964.

UNCTAD classifies member countries into four groups based on U.N. Regional Groups, and South Korea used to be on List A consisting of Asian and African countries, but the change has moved South Korea to List B ― the Western European and Others Group.

With the decision, the List B group now has 32 member countries, including Germany, France and Japan.

Last month, Lee Tae-ho, South Korea's new permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva, mentioned that Seoul was looking forward to playing a more active role at UNCTAD.

"In order to more effectively contribute to UNCTAD discussions as the sixth largest Aid-for-Trade donor in the OECD, Korea is now seeking to further institutionalize its engagement with other OECD donors at UNCTAD," he said.

South Korea was the first nation to become a donor country from being a recipient of U.N. aid in half a century, a transformation that has inspired many developing nations to follow in the footsteps of the Asian country in advancing their economies. (Yonhap)

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