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[2014] Mayor’s Speech

  • Seoul: a Fair Trade City, Changing the World through Trade

  • [2014] Mayor’s Speech SMG 1741

    Opening Ceremony of WFTO-ASIA Seoul Conference 2014

    Date October 16th, 2014 | Venue Brahms Hall, President Hotel

    It is a pleasure to be here today. I am the mayor of Seoul, Park Wonsoon. It is a great pleasure to see you honorable citizens, those concerned with fair trade all over the world, and fair trade families, including the Korea Council of Fair Trade Organizations, at the opening ceremony of the WFTO-ASIA Seoul Conference 2014 today. I would like to extend my sincere welcome to all of you.

    It means a lot to host the WFTO-ASAI Conference, an international event for fair trade, in Seoul, the capital of Korea, today on UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. As an association of fair trade movement organizations around the world, the WFTO (World Fair Trade Organization) has been playing an important role in improving the quality of life of producers and laborers in many countries and realizing their rights in international trade. I am grateful and honored to have an opportunity to discuss with leaders of fare trade from this great international association.

    Fair trade is good trade that trades products made by producers and laborers in underdeveloped countries at fair prices, supporting their economic independence and helping them prepare for their own economically viable future. It is also a very effective way to reduce absolute poverty and achieve sustainable development.

    The Seoul Metropolitan Government is therefore actively implementing a fair trade movement of reasonable and proper trade as well as ethical and desirable consumption in order to make Seoul a warm society of sharing, a global city helping to build a happy world with citizens around the world. Since we announced the implementation of the Fair Trade City project in 2012, we have been promoting values and ideas of fair trade and encouraging ethical consumption. Gigumaeul (opened in Jan., 2013), a fair trade shop, is being operated in Seoul City Hall and a wide range of promotion and education programs are being implemented through cooperation with autonomous districts, religious organizations, and schools. Despite these advances, we will put even more energy into a more solid establishment of fair trade.

    I am confident that WFTO-ASIA Seoul Conference will provide a valuable motivation to take a powerful step towards becoming a fair trade city of mutual happiness. I also hope that awareness of and participation in fair trade will expand, with cities and people around the world working together to relieve poverty and pain in underdeveloped countries on the other side of the globe. Perhaps we can provide a silver lining to the harsh conditions in which some are producers currently living.

    I am happy and grateful to have these meaningful discussions with all of you in this beautiful season when everything is coming to fruition. I hope for a helpful conference where we can share both the joy of being with good people as well as achieving something meaningful. Thank you very much.