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News Briefing
First Ministerial Meeting on International Economic Affairs
Mar 2024
Deputy Prime Minister Choi Sang-mok convened the first Ministerial Meeting on International Economic Affairs 
and Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) Management Committee’s Meeting on February 7. 
In the Ministerial meeting on international economic affairs, the participants discussed ① follow-up measures on promoting economic cooperation as discussed during the President’s state visits, ② policy measures to support Korean firms in the overseas construction market in 2024, ③ agendas for the 13th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference and the government’s response. In the EDCF Management Committee’s Meeting, ① medium-term operational directions for the EDCF (2024-2026) and ② measures to enhance the EDCF were discussed.

Key Points Highlighted by Deputy Prime Minister Choi Sang-mok: 

One of the important purposes of summit diplomacy is job creation and ensuring livelihood stability. Therefore, all ministries will make concerted efforts to systemically support the MOUs and investment commitments  made during the President’s state visits in the sectors of exports, overseas construction contracts and investments. To this end, the government will promote better communication with companies in partner countries by utilizing the network of overseas foreign offices, conducting a comprehensive review and sharing of inter-governmental cooperation channels as well as establishing a new economic and diplomacy consulting center. Also, regulatory barriers against follow-up action will be eased. Furthermore, the government will actively provide funding required for carrying out follow-up projects and export financing so that MOUs can lead to export and procurement contracts. As part of these endeavors, the Oversight Committee for Implementation of Global Partnership, launched in January 2024, will serve as the command center. 

Following last year’s achievement of the $33.3 billion overseas construction contracts, the government will meticulously pursue strategies for securing project bids in five key regions including the Middle East and Asia this year, aiming to usher in an era of $1 trillion in cumulative overseas construction orders.

Moreover, in the upcoming 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the government will work together with major countries to discuss key issues, including improving dispute settlement mechanisms and enhancing deliberative functions. The government will also endeavor to restore a multilateral trading system to foster a stable environment conducive to export and investment activities by Korean businesses.

The EDCF will continue to expand its assistance, approving projects worth 13.8 trillion Won over the next three years. Its support strategies shall keep up with the expanded fund size and changes in the global environment. In particular, the government will actively seek large-scale, high value-added projects exceeding $500 million that can boost development effectiveness in recipient countries; strengthen coordination of the government’s international strategies such as stabilizing supply chains; promptly respond to the development needs of developing countries’ private sectors, including participation in public-private partnership (PPP) projects and providing financial support to the private sector. Also, the government will expeditiously complete required procedures domestically and abroad so that the EDCF plays a facilitating role for Korean companies to undertake reconstruction projects in Ukraine.