My dear citizens of Seoul,
The New Year, the year of the rabbit, has begun. The rabbit symbolizes prosperity and affluence in the oriental zodiac. I wish a prosperous and happy 2011 for the 10 million citizens of Seoul.
The year 2010 was meaningful in so many ways. It was the year of Seoul’s designation as a World Design Capital, when our city made its commitment to—and vision of—design known to the world. Seoul was also designated as a UNESCO City of Design in 2010, further paving the way for the city to develop into an international design capital.
And we should all be proud of Seoul’s successful hosting of the G20 Summit—an opportunity for the world to see the potential and attractiveness of Korea’s vibrant capital city.
2010 also marked the year when Seoul was ranked among the top ten cities in the world in terms of city competitiveness. Our city also enjoyed major increases in its competitiveness in finance and tourism sectors last year, recording the highest levels ever.
Last year’s amazing achievements would not have been possible without the support and participation of all of you—Seoul’s great citizens. And for your support and interest, I offer my wholehearted thanks.
In 2011, I will continue moving forward in my efforts to make Seoul a global top five city that is admired by its citizens, and indeed, the world. Above all, I will pursue the realization of a solid and stable social security net, which is aimed at realizing sustainable self-reliance of all citizens. I will do my utmost to help Seoul citizens from all walks of life enjoy a healthy standard of living—building a city where people come first.
The New Year will see the city government continue its initiatives to relieve the anxieties of citizens in three major areas—education, childcare and housing. It will also strive to give citizens the highest level of satisfaction in areas such as health, culture and the environment.
Through investment in future-oriented projects, the city government will do its utmost to make Seoul a global top five city where people from around the world want to visit, invest and live.
I’m confident that in 2011, Seoul will become more of a source of pride for its citizens, and regarded highly by people of the world.
Finally, I wish you all the greatest health and happiness in the New Year, and may the year of the rabbit be the year of great riches for all of you—especially in spirit.
Thank you very much.