The South Korean Government and the IDB Group will jointly host the 56th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the 30th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Inter American Investment Corporation (IIC) at BEXCO in Busan, Korea, on March 26-29, 2015.
Approximately 3,000 participants from up to 48 IDB Group member countries comprising finance ministers, governors of central banks, heads of international organizations, business professionals, finance experts, and journalists will participate in the 2015 IDB-IIC Annual Meeting, which is the largest of its kind in Korean history. The official events include the main IDB-IIC Annual Meeting, Korea-LAC Business Summit, and Korea-LAC Knowledge Sharing Forum. A variety of sideline programs and cultural activities are also scheduled to take place during the event.
The IDB, established in 1959, is the leading source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean, playing a major role in the economic and social development of the region. As a member of the IDB Group, the IIC promotes private sector development in LAC focusing on SMEs.
With Korea joining the IDB Group in 2005, Korea-LAC economic cooperation experienced rapid progress. The year 2015 marks the 10th anniversary of Korea’s IDB Group membership. “As of last year, bilateral trade has doubled in the last decade to US$54.2 billion, with South Korean investment to the region on the rise, which is in contrast to numbers falling for other areas,” said Choi Hee-nam, deputy minister of international affairs.
The Annual Meeting is expected to further strengthen the relationship between Korea and the IDB Group as well as enhance Korea-LAC cooperation. Last September the IDB held the China Insights Program, and has organized this year’s program with the Korean Ministry of Strategy and Finance as the second in a series of initiatives aimed at deepening LAC banks’ understanding of financial markets and the cultural aspects of Asian countries improving commercial and financial ties between their client firms and companies from Asian countries.
The IDB believes that Latin America has much to learn from South Korea. “Korea is one of the countries in Asia with the greatest financial and commercial potential. A better understanding of its unique characteristics and business practices will help strengthen commercial relations on both sides,” said Gema Sacristan, chief of the IDB’s Financial Markets Division.
South Korean Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan said, “This year’s IDB-IIC will strengthen Korea’s presence in the international economic sphere, in addition to introducing Hallyu culture to increase familiarity with the LAC through both trade and cultural ties.” He is tapped to be elected as the chair for next year, with member countries preparing to create a new corporation which will merge existing private institutions under the IDB. Now the IDB-IIC meeting in Busan is ready to offer a priceless opportunity for exporters and export-seeking economies to build business partnerships and discuss large deals with the LAC.