The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD) is a comprehensive economic organization comprised of 36 member countries that deals with issues in areas such as the global economy, developmental support, education, health, and environmental protection. It conducts analyses, provides policy recommendations, and formulates regulations within its major areas of activity. The OECD also works together closely with over 70 non-member countries including its five key partners (Brazil, India, Indonesia, the People’s Republic of China, and South Africa).
Korea signed the Convention founding the OECD on December 12, 1996. The Korean government thereby pledged its full dedication to achieving the organization’s fundamental aims. The benefits of the OECD membership are many. Through its country surveys and comparable statistical and economic data, the OECD provides its member countries with tools to analyze and monitor their economic, social, and environmental policies. Countries can access all research and analyses conducted by the Secretariat.
In addition to its economic intelligence functions, the OECD is a forum where countries can discuss and share national experience, identify best practices, and find solutions to common problems. The OECD has working relationships with over 70 non-member economies, and members benefit from dialogues and consultations with all the players in the global scene.
In May 2004, the OECD opened the Regional Center for Competition in Seoul in cooperation with the Korea Fair Trade Commission. The Seoul Regional Center for Competition expands the OECD’s work on competition to the Asian region and helps the authorities concerned to develop and implement effective competition laws and policies for their countries.
In 2009, Korea served as the Chair of the Ministerial Council Meeting for the first time since it joined the OECD and played a leading role in the adoption of the OECD’s Green Growth Declaration. Korea has been also making dedicated efforts to boost productive discussions at the Ministerial Council Meeting as the Vice-Chair in 1998, 2006, 2015, and 2019.
In January 2010, Korea became the 24th member of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee. Since then, Korea has further strengthened its contribution to the international community as a recipient-turned-donor.
In May 2011, in order to provide a practical framework for governments to boost economic growth and protect the environment, the OECD adopted the OECD Green Growth Strategy Synthesis Report. In the process, Korea contributed to making the report more valuable by sharing the experience gained through its Green Growth policies.
With respect to the OECD’s cooperation with non-member countries, Korea has been making meaningful contributions to advancing the OECD South East Asia Regional Program(SEARP) since its launch in 2014. In particular, Korea was elected as a Co-Chair of SEARP together with Thailand in 2018 to lead SEARP from 2018 to 2021.
Korea has continuously reinforced its role as a middle power through its active participation in the Ministerial Council Meeting, Russia's accession to the OECD, and enhancement of relations with crucial economic partners, so called 'Key Partners' (China, Indonesia, India, Republic of South Africa, and Brazil).
The Ministerial Council Meeting was held in Paris on May 23-24, 2012, under the theme, "All on Board: Policies for Inclusive Growth and Jobs", reflecting the focus on economic growth and employment around the world. In addition, the meeting adopted the "OECD Strategy on Development" including future OECD strategies. Korea contributed to building the development strategy as a co-chair of the special working group in the OECD development strategy. Bark Tae-ho, Minister for Trade, participated in the meeting as a chief delegate and expressed a plan to invest US$800 thousand in the "East Asia Green Growth strategic project" in an effort to implement the OECD development strategy.
On the other hand, OECD member countries not only made progress on Russia's accession to the OECD through twenty-two commissions, but also discussed ways to engage Key Partners such as China and Indonesia. While holding interagency meetings with regard to Russia's accession to the OECD, the Korean government collected views from the private sector including companies conducting business in Russia. In addition, Korea strengthened diplomatic activities to enhance China's status to the OECD by holding three meetings to enhance cooperation with China in 2012(March, July and November) as chair of the Informal Reflection Group of China.
In addition, Korea implemented follow-up measures of the Phase 3 evaluation on Korea of the OECD Anti-bribery Convention (Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions). The Korean government reviewed its progress in the OECD recommendations through consultations among relevant government agencies including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Justice, Anti-corruption & Civil Rights Commission and National Tax Service. Korea reported its measures for implementation of the recommendations to the Working Group on Anti-bribery of the OECD in October. Korea has served as a role model by implementing the Anti-bribery Convention of the OECD as well as participating in the G20 Anti-corruption Working Group.
The OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development), an international organization established in 1961 with the goal of enhancing global economic development and stability, has been making efforts to promote economic growth and international trade though policy coordination and cooperation among the OECD member countries.
Korea has been an active participant in the work of the OECD since its accession in 1996. It continued to reinforce its role as a middle power in 2013, participating in the Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) as well as in discussions most notably on strengthening relations between the OECD and major emerging non-OECD countries including Southeast Asian nations, on the new accession of Colombia and Latvia, and on the follow-up measures for the implementation of the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.
The annual meeting of the Ministerial Council, the highest decision-making body of the OECD, was held in Paris on May 29-30, 2013 under the theme "Jobs, Equality, and Trust". As head of the Korean delegation, Deputy Prime Minister Hyun Oh-seok actively introduced the Korean government’s economic policies such as the "Creative Economy" policy which aims to secure a momentum for economic growth and the creation of jobs.
In addition, Mr. Cho Tae-yul, Deputy Minister of the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also shared Korea's experience of economic development and suggested aid policy based on this experience, emphasizing that the policy should be compatible with the capacity of developing countries. He also highlighted the need to strengthen the OECD’s outreach to Southeast Asia through a regional program and expressed Korea's willingness to actively support the OECD's effort in this regard.
Meanwhile, regarding new accession countries to the OECD, the Ministers at the 2013 MCM decided to open accession discussions within one month with Colombia and six months with Latvia, and agreed to in due course consider opening accession discussions with Costa Rica and Lithuania in 2015. Korea presented its position that new accession discussions should be carried out by taking into account the balance between the efficiency and representation of the organization. Korea will continue to utilize and consider policy discussions conducted within the OECD in advancing Korea’s policy and institution, and strengthen its role as a middle power by helping promote the efficiency of the activities and management of the OECD as a global policy network.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an international organization established in 1961 with the goal of enhancing global economic growth and stability. Its members are making efforts to promote economic growth and international trade through policy coordination and cooperation.
Korea has been an active participant in the work of the OECD since it joined the organization in 1996. Korea reinforced its role in 2014 by participating in the Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM), OECD Southeast Asia Regional Forum, OECD Development Week, and Global Strategy Group Meeting, among many others.
The annual meeting of the Ministerial Council, the highest decision-making body of the OECD, was held in Paris on May 6-7, 2014 under the theme of “Resilient Economies and Inclusive Societies.” During his remarks in the session on international development, Mr. Cho Tae-yul, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs proposed using the global monitoring system of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (also known as the Busan Global Partnership) as an instrument for achieving post-2015 development goals. He also highlighted the need to conduct projects aimed at poverty eradication and sustainable development by drawing on various financial resources. Moreover, he expressed the willingness of the Korean Government to cooperate with the OECD for the success of the OECD’s Southeast Asia Regional Program, which was launched at the Ministerial Council.
Mr. Yoon Sang-jick, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, explained the Korean Government’s policy efforts to make full use of global value chains including policies to promote trade and investment liberalization through free trade agreements (FTAs), support capacity-building for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and achieve balanced growth between large companies and SMEs. On the other hand, Mr. Choo Kyung-ho, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, attended a session titled “Resilient Economies” and introduced Korea’s economic policies for increasing private investment and creating jobs, such as the 3-year Plan for Economic Innovation and regulatory reforms.
Korea has strengthened its contribution to the OECD’s development discussions through the OECD Southeast Asia Regional Forum and the High-Level Meeting of the Development Center by sharing its experience in advancing institutional transformation after joining the OECD as well as in economic development.
Korea will continue to strengthen its role as a middle power by utilizing the discussions at the OECD in advancing institutional transformation and policies, sharing Korea’s development experience with developing countries and supporting the OECD’s activities as a global policy network.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an intergovernmental organization established in 1961 with the goal of enhancing global economic growth and stability, has worked for economic growth and expansion of trade through policy coordination and cooperation among member countries. Since its accession to the OECD in 1996, Korea has actively participated in the OECD’s work. In 2015, it continued its contribution to the Organization by participating in the 2015 OECD Ministerial Council Meeting and the third meeting of the OECD Global Strategy Group.
The Ministerial Council Meeting, the highest decision-making body of the OECD, was held in Paris on June 3-4, 2015 under the theme of ‘Unlocking Investment for Sustainable Growth and Jobs.’The Korean delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister, Choi Kyunghwan, enriched discussions in the Meeting by presenting the Korean government policies regarding economic innovation, climate change and green growth, and liberalization of trade and investment. It expressed its will to participate in international discussions and to cooperate with the OECD.
In a high-level panel discussion themed “Structural Reforms to Promote investment,’Deputy Prime Minister, Choi Kyunghwan, urged member countries to share same understanding of the current economic situation and called on the OECD to suggest an solution for orderly normalization of quantitive easing. The Deputy Prime Minister chaired in a breakout group of a session about ‘Investment’ and introduced the Korean government’s efforts to raise investment such as regulatory reforms and programme to boost business investment, he also introduced creative economy that Korea has pursued to find a new growth strategy.
In a session regarding “Development,” Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cho Tae-yul, suggested the OECD’s role in implementing the Post-2015 development agenda that drew many member countries agreement and expressed Korea’s will to actively cooperate with the OECD to achieve two goals ? national implementation of the Post-2015 development agenda and development in underdeveloped countries. In addition, in a session about ‘Low-Carbon Economy’ he introduced the Korean government’s policies for transition to low-carbon economy such as Five-year plan for Green Growth and nation-wide emissions trading system along with putting an emphasis on the importance and role of the Green Climate Fund under a new international climate system.
Vice Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, Moon Jaedo, introduced the Korean government’s efforts to improve payment, customs clearance, and distribution in e-commerce system and highlighted the need of adequate protection of personal information as well as cross-border information exchange to promote e-commerce.
Korea’s G20 Sherpa Lee Hye-min attended at the third meeting of the OECD Global Strategy Group, which was held in Paris on 1-2 December, 2015 and actively participated to discussions on the role of the OECD in a changing international society; global economic cooperation in trade and investment; and the OECD’s contribution to development agenda.
Korea will continue to strengthen its role as a responsible middle power by utilizing discussions in OECD for advancing our institutions and policies, and supporting the efficiency of the activities and the management of the OECD as a global policy network.
Since its accession to the OECD in 1996, the Republic of Korea has led discussions on key global economic issues, e.g., IT, science and technology, development, and etc., within the OECD, actively participating in its main work such as the OECD Ministerial Council, Trade Committee, Investment Committee and Global Strategy Group.
At the outset, 2016 was a meaningful year for Korea since it marked the 20th anniversary of Korea’s membership in the OECD. Korea organized two important OECD events in Seoul and Paris in October and June, respectively. In particular, the Seoul Seminar, held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was timed to coincide with the date that Korea signed the agreement on accession to the Organisation, which was October 25, 1996. This special event was indeed successful with the participation of high-level figures including Lim Sung-nam, 1st Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Angel Gurria, Secretary-General of the OECD; and more than 200 other participants from governments, the OECD, embassies in Korea, economic and academic community, and media. Participants revisited the 20 years of collaboration between Korea and OECD and discussed ways to deepen their working relationship in addressing domestic and global challenges. The Seoul Seminar was a good chance to reaffirm Korea’s stature as a full-fledged member of the OECD and improve interest and understanding about Korea’s OECD diplomacy in Korea and beyond.
In addition, President Park Geun-Hye and other Korean top-ranked figures such as Lee Joon-sik, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, and Yun Byoung-se, Minister of Foreign Affairs, met the OECD Secretary-General to exchange views on diverse issues. They discussed how Korea and OECD could enhance cooperation in sectors of creative economy, structural reform, tax, education, and implementation of SDGs.
Meanwhile, the Ministerial Council Meeting, the premier decision-making body of the OECD, was held in Paris on June 1 - 2, 2016 under the theme of “Enhancing Productivity for Inclusive Growth.” The Republic of Korea was represented by Yoo Ilho, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic and Finance; Lee Taeho, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; and others. Deputy Prime Minister Yoo, as a panelist, presented at the high-level panel discussion themed “a New Agenda for Growth” and focused on the Korean government’s efforts for structural reform in four main areas and the mitigation of job mismatch. At the “Universal Agenda on Inclusive and Sustainable Development” session, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Lee suggested three points regarding the OECD’s contribution to the implementation of the SDGs: enhancing the OECD’s role as a platform to link relevant development agencies, expanding assistance for the developing countries toward in achieving SDGs, and using the OECD’s expertise on statistics for the development of the SDGs Global Indicator Framework.
The fourth meeting of the OECD Global Strategy Group took place in Paris on November 1 - 2 under the theme of “Fixing Globalization.” The OECD Global Strategy Group has served as a high-level forum for discussions on global and strategic issues. In 2016, participants had a chance to discuss how the international community, including the OECD, can address the wide-spread anti-globalization sentiment . The Korean government was headed by Korea’s G20 Sherpa Lee Hye-min in this meeting. The G20 Sherpa, as chair of a breakout session themed “Opportunities of Digitalization,” led discussion and provided the following suggestions to build enabling environments for a digital economy: adhering to an open economy, developing digital capacity, reducing the information gap, and strengthening the social safety net. Lee also expressed his views on how the OECD should contribute to the implementation and effective monitoring of the Paris Agreement and to the effective implementation of a series of G20 agreements.
The Korean government will continue to actively participate in establishing the global rules and standards to be initiated by the OECD on international economy. Korea, a responsible full-fledged member of the OECD, will also reinforce its diplomatic position by playing a leading role in boosting the standing of Asian countries in the OECD and building diplomatic bridges between middle powers such as through MIKTA.
In 2017, the Ministerial Council, the premier decision-making body of the OECD, had a meeting in Paris on June 7-8 under the theme of “Making Globalization Work: Better Lives for All.”The Korean delegation was led by the Deputy Minister for International Affairs of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance and the Deputy Minister for Trade of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. They introduced the people-centered economic policy of Korea’s new administration and called on the OECD to play a proactive role in achieving a balanced distribution of the benefits of globalization and digitalization and promoting environment for a more open global economy.
In addition, at the signing ceremony held on the sidelines of the Ministerial Council’s meeting, Korea signed the Multilateral Convention on Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting to join the global efforts to deliver a stronger and fairer tax system.
On October 18-19, OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria visited Korea and exchanged views with Korean President and Foreign Minister on major issues in the global economy including inclusive growth, creating jobs, digitalization and aging society.
The fifth meeting of the OECD Global Strategy Group took place in Paris on November 28-29 under the theme of “Unprecedented Unpredictability: Digital Transformation ? the Future of Jobs and Trade in a Digitalized World.”Participants discussed ways to utilize the opportunities created by digitalization to achieve inclusive growth while addressing the anticipated challenges. The Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs contributed to the success of the meeting by chairing the session on “Digitalization across Borders: Taxation, Trade, Competition and Governance.”
In 2018, the Ministerial Council, the premier decision-making body of the OECD, had a meeting in Paris on May 30-31 under the theme of “Reshaping the foundations of multilateralism for more responsible, effective and inclusive outcomes.” The Korean delegation was led by the Minister for Trade of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. He explained the Korean government’s continuing efforts for the multilateral economic system and called on the OECD to play a more active role in achieving sustainable and inclusive economic growth as well as in coping with the changes brought by digitalization.
In particular, Korea was elected as a Co-Chair of the OECD Southeast Asia Regional Program together with Thailand at the Steering Group Meeting in Paris on January 10. By leading SEARP from 2018 to 2021, the Korean government will be able to align the direction of SEARP with that of Korea’s New Southern Policy.
Korea hosted the 6th OECD World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy, which took place in Incheon on November 27-29 under the theme of “The Future of Well-being”. OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria visited Korea for the occasion. He also met with Korean President and the 2nd Vice Foreign Minister during his stay in Korea and exchanged views with them on various global economic issues such as inclusive growth, digitalization, ways to tackle protectionism.
In addition, the OECD Working Group on Bribery completed its Phase 4 evaluation on Korea’s implementation of the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and related instruments. Korea’s Phase 4 report was adopted by the OECD Working Group on Bribery on December 13, 2018.
The Ministerial Council meeting of the OECD in 2019, where the future direction of the Organization are established, was held on May 22-23 under the theme of “Harnessing Digital Transition for Sustainable Development: Opportunities and Challenges.” As the vice-chair of this year’s Ministerial Council Meeting, the Republic of Korea (ROK) made significant contributions to the meeting and the work of the OECD, thereby enhancing the ROK’s status in the international community. The Korean delegation, which was led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, promoted the ROK’s image as a leading country in digital issues by contributing to the adoption of the OECD Recommendation on Artificial Intelligence―which the OECD was the first international organization to adopt a recommendation on―and by explaining the ROK’s policies for supporting high-speed internet, including 5G.
The Korean government also successfully co-chaired the OECD Southeast Asia Regional Program together with Thailand. Under the theme of “Connecting Southeast Asia,” the Korean delegation shared the ROK’s vision on how to enhance connectivity based on the New Southern Policy.
The 7th Meeting of the OECD Global Strategy Group was held on November 27-28 under the theme of “Ageing OECD Societies: Responding to the Challenges, Harnessing the Opportunities.” The Korean delegation contributed to the active discussion on opportune ways to adapt to the ageing world by chairing the session on “Future of Work.”
In 2020, the Ministerial Council meeting of the OECD was held virtually on October 28-29 under the theme of “The Path to Recovery: Strong, Resilient, Green and Inclusive,” and participants had extensive discussions on sustainable economic stimulus packages; holistic social, economic, and environmental approaches for better recovery; and ways to harness the opportunities and challenges derived from digital transformation.
In the plenary session, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance Hong Nam-ki, who led the Korean delegation, stressed the need for a powerful stimulus package, assistance to the vulnerable, transformation of economic and societal structures, and harmonized policies of the international community to create synergy as ways to overcome the economic crisis.
In the breakout session themed “Globalization and the Recovery: The Role of Trade and Investment; Enhancing Resilience in Global Value Chains; Fostering International Economic Co-operation,” Korea suggested that member countries guarantee cross-border movement of goods, services, and people necessary for business and other key economic activities to facilitate trade and investment and that they tap into the potential of the digital economy. These suggestions were reflected in the Ministerial Council Statement as a clause stressing the importance of cross-border movement of people necessary for business and other key economic activities.
Korea joined the OECD in 1996 and celebrated the 25th anniversary of its membership in 2021. Korea has been actively applying global standards to various domestic institutions through its activities within the OECD and aiming to build a more inclusive and sustainable society. Recently, Korea has actively participated in the OECD discussions on emerging issues and worked to change its role from a follower to a leader among OECD member countries.
In 2021, Korea served as a vice chair of the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting once again and played an active role in preparing for the meeting, together with Luxembourg as the co-vice chair and the US as the chair. The 2021 Ministerial Council Meeting was held in Paris on October 5-6 under the theme of “Shared Values: Building a Green and Inclusive Future.” Member countries participated in the discussions on building an inclusive future and exchanged ideas about the international tax regime, building a green future by achieving carbon neutrality, and adapting to digital transformation. Korea, in particular, emphasized the importance of an inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, sustainable development in the face of increasing inequality, and an international cooperation system to respond smartly to climate change. Korea also highlighted its contribution to addressing global challenges including its pledges to support vaccine distribution, plans to increase its ODA, and policies to achieve carbon neutrality.