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Ex-Economy Officials to Advise Developing Asian Economies

Ex-Economy Officials to Advise Developing Asian Economies

Posted February. 23, 2010 09:06,   


Former and incumbent Korean economy officials will work as advisers to developing Asian economies such as Vietnam, Cambodia and Mongolia, the Strategy and Finance Ministry said yesterday.

This is the first time for Korea to send economic advisers to developing economies to share the country’s economic developmental expertise in the form of official development assistance. The program is also expected to raise Korea’s global image.

Among the consultants are former Finance and Economy Minister Kwon O-kyu, former Korea Development Institute Vice President Nam Sang-woo, and Strategy and Finance Ministry Director Koh Young-kwon.

Seoul will send one economic consultant each to Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Uzbekistan and two to Mongolia. The five nations were selected the key beneficiaries of Korea’s Knowledge Sharing Program this year.

The program is a consulting project to share Korea’s economic development experience to developing nations, and is widely known as the Korean version of Official Development Assistance (ODA).

The key beneficiaries expressed last year to Seoul their willingness to “personally seek advice on economic policies in general directly from figures who served key roles in Korean economic development.”

They also said they want insight on measures not only to handle pending issues such as unemployment but also to receive comprehensive advice on macroeconomic policy from the consultants.

The Strategy and Finance Ministry recently sent Kwon to Indonesia and Nam to Vietnam as head consultants. Former Korea Development Institute President Hyun Jung-taek is under consideration for deployment to Uzbekistan, and the former chairman of the Bank of Korea’s Monetary Policy Committee, Kang Mun-soo, is a head consultant candidate for Cambodia.

The project is for three years and consultants will travel back and forth between Korea and their respective assignment countries.

The consultants have all worked for international organizations such as the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the International Monetary Fund. They also possess high English proficiency and are widely recognized in the key beneficiary countries.

For example, Nam is well-known among high-level Vietnamese officials due to his experience as an adviser to the Planning and Investment Ministry in Hanoi.

Kwon has advised the Indonesian government on economic development, and the Indonesian finance minister specifically asked for his help as well.

The Strategy and Finance Ministry decided to organize project teams of 10-15 experts each for each beneficiary nation led by head consultants. Dispatch of the teams will start next month.

Joo Hyung-hwan, a ministry official responsible for external affairs, said, “Since several Knowledge Sharing Programs are being simultaneously pursued in Vietnam and Cambodia, we need a comprehensive management system. Therefore, these consultants will advise on the overall economic policies of the respective governments as supervisors.”

Ministry director Koh was appointed Monday consultant to the Mongolian Finance and Economics Ministry. The serious economic crisis in Mongolia last year forced the country to seek an IMF bailout.

Another ministry director, Lee Byeong-rae, will likely be an adviser to the governor of the Central Bank of Mongolia.

Koh is expected to stay in Mongolia for a year under the program. “I’ve gained this opportunity to work as an adviser to the finance ministry of another country because Korea overcame the global financial crisis in an ideal manner,” he said.

“I’ll do my best to provide substantive advice to the Mongolian government by developing a feasibility analysis model, creating a sovereign wealth fund, and evaluating economic reform initiatives.”