Eight Central American Countries Turn Their Eyes to Korea’s Public Administration
Date : 2017-08-02
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Upon requests from Central American countries to learn from Korea’s best practices in administrative innovation, the Ministry of the Interior and Safety (MOIS) of the Republic of Korea formed and sent out a group of government officials from varying government ministries and agencies to Costa Rica and Chile from July 26 through August 1. The delegation is headed by Vice Minister Shim Bo-kyun of the Interior and Safety, and the participating organizations include the Ministry of Government Legislation, Korea Customs Service and Seoul Metropolitan Government.
On July 27, the delegation held the “Digital Government Ministers Forum of Korea and Central America” jointly with eight Central American governments and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) at Hotel Wyndham in San Jose, Costa Rica. The forum was attended by Minister Carolina Vasquez Soto of Science, Technology and Telecommunications of Costa Rica, ministerial and vice-ministerial officials from eight Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Belize), Manager Ana Maria Rodriguez from IDB and President Yolanda Martinez of RedGealc.
The Digital Government Ministers Forum is aimed at fostering cooperation in the field of public administration between Korea and the region, building on closer economic ties through the Korea-Central America free trade agreement (FTA). With funding of IDB, ministers and vice ministers from seven Central American countries were invited to Costa Rica.
During the Forum, Vice Minister Shim Bo-kyun delivered a keynote speech themed on the past and future vision of Korea’s e-government. In his speech, Vice Minister Shim underscored that strong leadership of decision makers, changes in the mindset of public officials and aggressive investment in information and communications technology (ICT) have led to remarkable development of Korea’s digital government. He added that Korea’s e-government has taken a new leap forward in preparation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution represented by the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data.
Eight representatives from Central America all agreed on the need for leadership, mindset change and investment to enable success in digital government in the region, showing their great interest in Korea’s case which has become world’s e-government leader over the past 50 years.
Following the Forum, the ministers and vice ministers from Korea and eight Central American countries declared a Joint Declaration on Digital Government Cooperation between Korea and Central American Countries. They shared recognition that building an efficient and transparent government and delivering quality public services is the key component in enhancing the safety and the quality of their people. And, they agreed to share success factors in administrative reform and explore wide-ranging areas of cooperation through international organizations in the region such as IDB.
On July 28, the “Korea-IDB-Central America Cooperation Forum on Digital Government” was held, inviting 100 public officials from Central America, under various themes including e-Customs System (Korea Customs Service), national archive (National Archive of Korea), intelligent transport system (Seoul Metropolitan Government), legislation (Ministry of Government Legislation), disaster management system, resident registration system, e-Government Act, big data and civil service system.
The delegation signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on digital government with co-host, Costa Rica, on July 27. Under the MOU, the two countries agreed to launch a Digital Government Cooperation Committee, build digital government-related capabilities and enhance accessibility to information through various projects.
On the 28th, Vice Minister Shim held bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Panama, Honduras and Dominican Republic. The three vice ministers expressed their gratitude for Korea’s support to promote administrative reform and build digital government in the region, and discussed ways to strengthen cooperation in many areas such as e-government capacity building (Panama), the establishment of data center (Honduras), and e-government-driven public service (Dominican Republic).