UPDATE : 2018.11.21 WED 17:17
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Goyang City to build a Goyang Global Economic NetworkMayor Choi Sung meets with Harvard and UCLI professors

Goyang City is working hard to promote the “Goyang Global Economic Network” in a bid to accelerate its development in various fields.

In November 2011, Choi Sung, mayor of Goyang, a major city of over 1 million inhabitants, toured North/Latin America. He discussed with administrators of Harvard University and UCLA about student exchange programs. Discussions were also focused on ways to innovate the education program for Goyang's civil servants and the possibility of hosting international academic forums in the Korean city. There has been substantial progress in the issues, according to Goyang officials.

Of note, Mayor Choi met with internationally known professors Edward J. Baker (Harvard University) and John Duncan (UCLA) to discuss about how Goyang could adapt to advanced educational systems and innovate its education and training programs. The professors visited Goyang City in June 2012 to deliver lectures for civil servants in charge of education and administrators of colleges based in the city.

The Goyang delegation, led by Mayor Choi Sung, met with American businessmen and Korean-Americans in an effort to activate a “Goyang Global Economic Network.” The delegation sought to promote the Goyang International Flower Festival and the city’s medical tourism.

Mayor Choi, 51, talked with Washington D.C. Loudoun County Mayor Kristen Umstead to discuss about student exchange programs. Mayor Kristen promised to sign an MOU on a student exchange program between the two cities once the plan was approved by the city council. As a result, there were expectations that the two cities would initiate exchange programs related to civil aviation education at college-level and elementary and secondary school pupils at an early date.

▲Mayor Choi Sung of Goyang City

Notably, Mayor Choi visited the U.S. Department of State for the first time as chief of a Korean self-governing entity. Officials whom he met promised to render support to educational exchange programs between Goyang and U.S. cities.

In Los Angeles, Mayor Choi visited the LA Area Commerce of Industry and met with Senior Vice President Carlos J. Valderraama. Valderraama leads the chamber’s global trade programs and spearheads advocacy efforts to bolster international trade, increase foreign direct investment and expand export opportunities for the greater Los Angeles region. He also met with Mark Jaffe, president of the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce and Ele Kauderer, professional real estate consultant who specializes in investment for Korea and other areas. Topics covered in their meetings were the Goyang Flower Festival and the city’s medical tourism initiatives. Valderraama reportedly showed keen interest in the Goyang Flower Show and promised to cooperate for promoting a Goyang Global Businessmen Network.

Choi, 51, earned his Ph.D. in political science from Korea University. He was reelected mayor of Goyang this year. He was first reelected to the mayorship in 2010.

“A Goyang Global Economic Network” was set up officially on October 1, 2011, by some 100 business persons based at home and abroad. The overseas businessmen of Korean origin came to Korea leading a group of sportsmen who were based in the United States, Canada and other foreign countries to participate in an annual national athletic event. There were in-depth discussions on how industrial and farm products of Goyang could make their way to the United States, especially New York City.

Rev. Park Sang-kyu, Hwang Won-kyun, former chairman of Virginia Korean Community, Lee Jong-guk, chief of Korean journalists based overseas and some others were additionally appointed as Goyang’s honorary international consultants based in Los Angles, Spain’s Catalan state, Mongolia, Japan’s Hokodate and Austria’s Eisenstadt. These international consultants are committed to working for the promotion of educational exchange projects between Goyang and these foreign cities and regions involved. Of note, the honorary consultants would exert special efforts to promote the Goyang Flower Festival and marketing of Goyang’s specialty products.

Mayor Choi met with California Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang to talk about the city’s “Great Park” project and got a briefing from Kang in the development scene. The former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro is being transformed into the first great metropolitan park of the 21st Century?the Orange County Great Park. It is located in the geographic center of Orange County, California, halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego, Spanning approximately 1,300 acres (nearly twice the size of New York’s Central Park) the Great Park’s award-winning master plan embraces environmental sustainability, preserves Orange County’s agricultural heritage, and honors the military history of the former air base, setting a new standard for sustainable park design and urban planning. Goyang City sought to learn a valuable lesson from the Great Park project in the development of Daegok (Subway) Station, and new towns.

Mayor Choi, who delivered a speech at Cambridge University when he visited the U.K., also conducted special lectures at Harvard University and UCLA, which reaffirmed his international stature. At UCLA, he spoke about “Korea’s political reality and leadership quality.” Prof. Edward Banker and some leading Korean-Americans were present when he spoke at Harvard’s Kennedy School about the “tributes of next (Korean) president.” The audience showed keen interest in Mayor Choi’s diagnosis of changing political scene of Korea.

He returned home after visiting Latin America where he also strove to promote the Goyang International Flower Festival and the Global Global Economic Network” which will likely weigh heavily on the development of Goyang whose population exceeded the 1 million mark of late.

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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