1. Minister of Foreign Affairs Park Jin attended Session I of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting chaired by United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken in San Francisco, the U.S., on November 14. The Foreign Minister discussed with his counterparts from other APEC member economies ways to create a sustainable and inclusive future in the Asia-Pacific in the face of global polycrises such as the health challenges, supply chain disruptions, and climate change.
2. Foreign Minister Park stressed that building seamless networks through enhanced stable physical and people-to-people connectivity would help strengthen capabilities of the entire Asia-Pacific region in responding to the crises. He added that Korea, as a champion economy of the third phase of the APEC Supply-Chain Connectivity Framework Action Plan (SCFAP III) designed to address supply chain disruptions within APEC, will contribute to bolstering the resilience of supply chains in the region through collaborative work on the digitalization of supply chains, including border procedures. On that note, he conveyed Korea’s commitment to contributing actively to the digitalization of the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) and to the promotion of inclusiveness for businesswomen and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in order to advance people-to-people connectivity.
3. He also noted that digital connectivity is a pivotal driver in achieving inclusive growth through bridging the digital divide in the region. He went on to say that under the Digital Innovation Fund that Korea established in 2019, more than 40 initiatives have been implemented, contributing to digital transition and digital capacity building in developing economies in the region. Meanwhile, in order to enjoy the benefit of digital technologies and to reduce the risk of them, he urged that APEC member economies collaborate actively in establishing digital norms to address ethical concerns.
4. Furthermore, Foreign Minister Park presented Korea’s contribution to responding to global climate change through the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI). Expressing confidence in the upcoming role of the Carbon Free Alliance, officially launched in October, as a valuable platform that contributes towards carbon neutrality in the region, called for the APEC member economies’ attention and support.
5. Recalling that Korea hosted its first APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Busan in 2005, Foreign Minister Park urged the APEC member economies to support Korea’s bid to host World Expo 2030 in Busan. Noting Korea’s vision for holding the World Expo in Busan is fully aligned with that of APEC -- sustainable and inclusive growth -- the Foreign Minister emphasized that the Busan Expo will serve as a platform to seek global solutions to the diverse challenges the world is grappling with -- climate change, digital divide, and growing inequality.