Southeast Global Center Opening Ceremony
Date: October 15th, 2014
Venue: Southeast Global Center in Yeongdeungpo-gu
Hello. It is pleasure to be here. I am Park Won Soon, the mayor of Seoul. It is truly a pleasure to open the second Global Center in the middle of the southwestern area of the city, where foreign residents and multiculturalism are blooming.
I would like to thank lawmaker Kim Young Ju, city councilor Yoo Kwang Sang, Choi Woong Sik, Kim Jung Tae, head of Yeongdeungpo-gu Park Jung Ja, and foreign honorary deputy mayor Lee Hae Eung. I am also grateful to the many foreign and local residents participating in this event.
44 percent of foreign residents (180,000 out of 410,000) are concentrated in 5 southwestern gu (boroughs). In particular, Yeongdeungpo-gu has a heavy population of Korean-Chinese and other non-native Koreans (58,000), where a complex support center has long been critically needed to aid adaptation and overcome difficulties. The head of the southwestern gu meeting brought up the issue four years ago, Seoul City carried forward, and finally today the center is opening. The Southwestern global center is to serve both expats and local citizens as a Sarangbang (gathering venue). Getting along with each other in a space for communication and harmony over language and race barriers, here is a place where you can make friends, learn different cultures, study, and read books. It will surely become the favorite place of many residents.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government will continue to build global supporting centers, including a third in the Dongdaemun area. We are ready and willing to enhance supporting programs such as global business start-ups, trade, and community activities to minimize the inconveniences of expats living in Seoul. I sincerely hope the many international residents of Seoul enjoy this center and continue to live fulfilling lives here in Seoul.
Expats residing in Seoul are as equally important to me as the 10 million domestic citizens. Welcoming the era of a million foreign residents, we will work harder to make Seoul an expat-friendly city and a pleasant city for both locals and foreigners. Thank you.