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Korea-Pacific SDG Forum to take place next month

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By Kang Seung-woo

The inaugural Korea-Pacific SDG Forum, a framework of discussing various issues ranging from trade, culture, tourism and human resource development between Korea and Pacific islands, will be held next month in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province.

The forum, sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is scheduled for Dec. 8, to be held in an online-offline hybrid format due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It comes after Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong and his 14 counterparts from island nations in the Pacific Ocean held a videoconference, Nov. 16, where they agreed to elevate the dialogue mechanism between the two sides to summit level and to shorten the host cycle of the ministerial meetings from three to two years as part of efforts to enhance their collaboration.

The forum will feature various lectures, attractions and creative attempts to be presented under the three themes of trade economy, cultural tourism and capacity-building between Korea and Pacific nations. In addition, the Pacific Tourism Organization (SPTO) and Yeosu plan to sign an agreement to cooperate for the successful hosting of the 2026 Yeosu World Islands Expo.

Starting with a presentation on sharing the industry topography and alternatives in the post-pandemic era, Oh Sinan Ozturk, chairman of the Global Business Alliance, a business platform operating company, will introduce opportunities for business creation through exchanges between Korea and Pacific nations. Catherine Germier-Hamel, CEO of Destination Mekong, will also present a method of developing a tourism program that leads to regional economic revitalization. The Agricultural Policy Insurance and Finance Service, which supports companies looking for new business channels in the agricultural, livestock and fishery industries, will also participate.

The event will also hold a talk show about sustainable island travel, which the organizer believes will help pass on know-how of building and exchanging collective intelligence between scholars and undergraduate students, while K Smart Korea will share cases of Korean smart farm applications in Cambodia and Vietnam and introduce measures applicable to Pacific islands in a lecture exclusively available for overseas participants.

There will also be exhibitions of bright and unique items made by locals in Pacific island countries, including Fiji and Samoa.

Anyone from local governments, graduate and undergraduate students, companies and scholars interested in business opportunities with and learning about countries in the Pacific Ocean can participate online. Those who cannot be present at the forum will be able to watch recordings through the SPTO's YouTube channel made available after the event.

Kang Seung-woo

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