Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon signed a memorandum of understanding with Justice Minister Lee Kwi-nam on March 22 to work together to transform the city into a place where foreigners want to live and to attract foreign tourists. The deal was signed as of 11:00 a.m. on the day at the Korea Press Center.
Under the nine-point memorandum of understanding, Seoul City and the Ministry of Justice agreed to build global living conditions that allow foreigners to live in the city without inconvenience and provide high-quality services for expatriates. Overall, the deal aims to make Seoul and South Korea a place that foreigners “want to visit, live and invest in.”
Oh remarked that the essential condition for Seoul becoming a truly global city hinged on whether it could impress and satisfy the 260,000 foreign residents and some 8 million foreign tourists visiting the city annually. In the wake of the deal with the justice ministry, which is in charge of foreigner-related policies, Seoul’s efforts to become one of the world’s top 10 cities will be boosted, Oh said.
Among the agreements between Seoul City and the Ministry of Justice are the fostering of a social atmosphere that doesn’t discriminate against foreigners; developing policies to support foreigners’ living conditions and herald good examples of such policies; interoperability between Seoul’s one-stop 120 Dasan Call Center and the justice ministry’s 1345 Immigration Contact Center; cooperation to support services for foreigners and information sharing; social unity and others.
Meanwhile, the signing ceremony was attended by Alan Timblick, the British head of the Seoul Global Center, which was launched in January 2008 to help foreigners live in Seoul without inconvenience, as well as the foreign heads of the Global Village Centers in Yeoksam, Seorae, Ichon and Yeonnam.