SEOUL, November 6, 2017 – The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced that Seoul Mayor Park Won-Soon had left for Colombo of Sri Lanka, Delhi of India and Bonn of Germany as his official visit from November 5 through 14, 2017.
It is reported that it is the first official visit for him to Sri Lanka and India as the Mayor of Seoul. Taking this opportunity, Mayor Park plans to establish a bridgehead for economic exchanges between Seoul and two countries in Southwest Asia – India, an emerging economic giant, is often called “post-China” and Sri Lank has a high potential for economic growth.
Mayor Park participates in the 2017 CITYNET Congress, a general meeting which is held every four years, held from November 5 through 8 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, as his first stop of this trip. He delivered a keynote speech at the inaugural ceremony held at the Hilton Hotel, Colombo, on November 6, and joined session discussions during the Congress to stress out the importance of solidarity among Asia Pacific cities.
CITYNET is a regional network of over 130 cities and organizations specializing in solving urban problems and seeking for sustainable urban in the Asia Pacific region. Founded in 1987 with 27 members, the Network of Cities has grown to 138 members of municipalities, NGOs, private companies and research centers in 2017. The City of Seoul joined CITYNET in 1989 and has served as the President City since 2013.
With mayors of member cities, Mayor Park declared the CITYNET Colombo Declaration that sets the period from 2018 to 2028 as the joint vision idealization years, during which member cities and organizations will collaborate on sustainable urban development by sharing each city’s solution to urban problems.
Meanwhile, Mayor Park will seek his re-election as the President of CITYNET that will be decided at the 2017 Congress.
The Mayor’s visit to India is much focused on making economic exchanges with an emerging economic giant in Southwest Asia. 10 promising startups selected by the city government will accompany with the Mayor, and they are expected to take part in an opening ceremony of the Seoul-India Economic Exchange Center that will serve as a platform to bridge between Korean startups and Indian enterprises.
They will also hold Investor Relations (IR) meetings with Indian business persons to attract investment, and have meetings with Korean business persons working in India and local business persons, respectively, to listen to what they want and what they need from the city government.
After his visit to Sri Lanka and India, he will leave for Bonn in Germany to participate in a climate conference for local governments to be held during the 23rd United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Parties (Conference of the Parties23, COP23). Although the COP is an international event in dealing with climate change among 196 countries, representatives from cities, local governments, international organizations and climate change and energy experts around the world are also gathered to discuss ways to tackle with climate change.
As the President of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), the Mayor of Seoul will introduce Seoul’s best practices and preside over an ICLEI executive committee meeting. Established in 1990, ICLEI is an international association of a total of 1,174 local governments and national and regional local government organizations that have made a commitment to sustainable development.
He will also participate in the 3rd general meeting of the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement (GLCN), which is a group of 14 cities committed to drive a transition to sustainable consumption and production by implementing sustainable and innovation procurement. All participating cities are acting as ambassadors of sustainable procurement to lead to a resource efficient, low carbon and socially responsible society.
During this official 10-day visit to three countries, Mayor Park will meet with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka, Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal, Bonn Mayor Ashok Sridharan and other high-profile figures to expand municipal diplomacy by discussing mutual cooperation and exchanging best urban policies.
Mayor Park said, “I will further expand economic exchanges with India and Sri Lanka, and solve urban problems with the world’s cities to implement a practical urban diplomacy.” “Seoul has developed leading climate action models such as “One Less Nuclear Power Plant Initiative” and “Promises of Seoul” to follow the Paris climate agreement. We will share our best practices and strengthen international cooperative networks to fight against climate change.