1. The 16th Korea-Middle East Cooperation Forum will take place at Lotte Hotel Seoul on November 13, co-hosted by the Jeju Peace Institute, the Korea-Arab Society, and the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, a state-run think tank of the United Arab Emirates, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
2. At the Forum themed “Mapping Paths to New Frontier of Korea-Middle East Cooperation,” the participants will discuss rapidly changing regional situations as well as diplomatic and security environments, challenges in the areas of security, economy and culture, and ways for the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Middle East to work more closely together.
° The Forum will consist of presentations by and in-depth discussions among experts from the ROK and the Middle East in the areas of security, economy and culture, as well as a question-and-answer session on matters of interest for about 200 people, including members of the diplomatic corps in the ROK, entrepreneurs and college students.
3. In his keynote speech at the opening ceremony, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Cho Sei-young will stress that the ROK and the Middle East need to broaden the scope of their cooperation that used to be confined to certain realms of construction and energy to include comprehensive economic areas; to expand cooperation base to security and culture; and to develop the bilateral relations to a partnership to prepare together for the 4th Industrial Revolution era.
° (Session 1: Paths to Security and Stability in the Region) Given that stability and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula and in the Middle East is directly linked to peace of the entire international community, the participants will discuss key security challenges in the two regions and put forward ways to build peace.
° (Session 2: Reshaping Korea-Middle East Economic Cooperation in the Post Oil Era) Amid the diversification of the ROK-Middle East cooperation in the post-oil era to such areas as health and medical care, information technology, nuclear energy, and renewable energy, the participants will explore ways for future-oriented economic cooperation in preparation for the 4th Industrial Revolution era.
° (Session 3: Public Diplomacy: Building People to People Ties) Amid the spread of Hallyu (Korean Wave) in the Middle East, as can be seen from the performances by the Bangtan Boys (BTS) in Saudi Arabia, the participants will explore the possibility of the Korean entertainment business building presence in the Middle East and discuss ways to increase bilateral cooperation between the ROK and Middle Eastern countries through public diplomacy.
4. The forthcoming Forum is expected to serve as an opportunity to expand and identify potential areas of cooperation between the ROK and the Middle East as well as to share and communicate with general public on the ROK’s diplomacy toward the Middle East.
° The event is also expected to serve as a good opportunity for the private sector to build networks with think tanks and experts of the Middle East and thereby to help strengthen the ROK-Middle East cooperative relations.