Home World News Africa Essential to Achieving Global Pivotal State Goals – South Korea

Africa Essential to Achieving Global Pivotal State Goals – South Korea

African Map
African Map

Although economic cooperation between Korea and Africa is currently limited, the continent is considered a crucial partner for the realisation of Korea’s vision of becoming a Global Pivotal State (GPS).

Consequently, the Korean Government is actively pursuing Trade and Investment Promotion Frameworks (TIPFs), Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), and other agreements with African countries to expand economic cooperation by establishing a Foundation for trade collaboration.

The initiative will make African countries trading allies of Korea for mutual benefits.

Mr Jung Kihong, Government Representative for the 2024 Korea-Africa Summit, told journalists at Seoul, Korea, ahead of the maiden Korea-Africa Summit scheduled for 4th and 5th June.

The engagement was part of Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Journalists Invitation Program.

Mr Jung said the Summit would build a new frame of cooperation to pave way for Korea to invest in Africa “so we can grow together”.

He said Korea would transfer knowledge in digital education, technology, digitalisation, and agriculture, among others, to Africa’s growing young population.

Mr Jung noted that diversification was the key to sustainable development and that with Africa’s 1.4 billion population, Korea needed Africa to fix global challenges together.

Ms. Myunglae Choi, Director, Investment Public Relations Team, Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), said the Korea government would offer 50 per cent cash grant and 50 per cent tax credit for foreign investors as incentives.

The economy of South Korea recorded a “Textbook recovery” in 1999 after it went for IMF bailout programme in 1997 following the Asian financial crisis.

The country’s FDI surged after the crisis, with accumulated amount of FDI as of 2017 coming to USD 22.9 billion.

The annual trade volume between Korea and Africa increased by 23-fold from around  890 million US Dollars in 1998 to around 20.45 billion US Dollars in 2022, according to the Korea International Trade Association.

The Korea-Africa Investment Amount has also gone up from 63 million US Dollars in 1998 to around 700 million US Dollars in 2019.

This feat has been attributed to government policies and targeted interventions to transform the economy.

A key initiative by the government to create a favourable environment for FDI is the hosting of regular Foreign Investment Weeks.

The event provides a “Red Carpet Service” for foreign investors.

Apart from tax reductions and exemptions, the country also designates notable citizens in some countries as Public Relations Ambassadors for FDI.

The government provides land and capital for foreign businesses that display excellent  technological prowess and obeys local content laws.

The Summit in June was heralded by Africa Film and Cultural Festivals and an Exhibition.

It would be the largest multilateral summit hosted under the Yoon Suk Yeol Administration to elevate the relationship between Korea and Africa.

The Summit is expected to serve as a “cooperative platform for mutual prosperity, where Korea’s development experience do not only contribute to Africa’s development, but also where the dynamism of Africa enhances the growth of Korea”.

It will be on the theme: “The future we make together: Shared growth, sustainability, and solidarity”.

Africa is considered the continent of the future, with 60 per cent under the age of 25.

The establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is also making the continent a global economic powerhouse with population of 1.4 billion and GDP of 3.4 trillion US Dollars.

The Journalists Invitational Program offered opportunity to journalists from Africa to experience Korea.

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