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Hongneung to be reinvented as 'green growth' hub of Korea

2012/05/13 | 287 views |  | Permalink | Source

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Hongneung, an area in northern Seoul that was the incubator of science and technology in the early stages of Korea's rapid economic development in the 1970s, will be re-created as the center of the nation's "green growth" in the 21st century.

President Lee Myung-bak, in a speech to the Global Green Growth Summit in Seoul Thursday, called Hongneung the "birthplace" of Korea's science and technology that played a crucial role in the "miracle on the Han River". He said the government will re-create the area as a "green growth complex that will lead the world's green technology and knowledge and cultivation of personnel".

According to President Lee's office and the Presidential Committee on Green Growth, the government will relocate green growth-related organizations to the sites of the Korea Development Institute and the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade. Both think tanks will move to the administrative Sejong City in the country's central region from late next year.

In the first phase, the Green Technology Center Korea was opened at the complex in March this year. Among other organizations to be relocated to the Sejong City include the Presidential Committee on Green Growth, the Global Green Growth Institute and the Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Research Center of Korea. In addition, the Green Climate Fund will likely be nestled in Hongneung if the government can attract the international organization to Seoul.

President Lee said the Global Green Growth Institute, a Seoul-based think tank on developing green growth strategies, will be officially launched as an international organization in October this year. The founding will be co-funded by Korea, Japan, Australia and the United Arab Emirates.

He said the heads of 10 countries contributing to the think tank's opening will hold a signing ceremony to turn the organization into an international body at an environmental summit slated for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June this year. "The climate change ministerial meeting that Korea will host in October will officially endorse and launch the institute as an international organization", the president said in his speech.

In addition, President Lee said Korea will actively try to spread "green values" by assisting underdeveloped countries to protect their environments through Seoul's official direct assistance programs.

Stressing the importance of green economic growth, the president highlighted the value of his "low carbon, green growth" policy, which he included as one of the most important tasks in his first year in office. "There is an old saying that when you drink water, remember who dug this well", he said. "Let's act now so that we will be remembered in the future as the people who dug the well".

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