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Busan envoy visits Cebu

| by: Xerxes Alkuino

Busan, South Korea Metropolitan City’s Director for International Affairs Division, Mr. Choi Gi-Won, was in Cebu in an effort to strengthen the twinning agreement between the two governments.

Governor Hilario P. Davide III welcomed Choi’s company in a courtesy call last November 12 at the Capitol.

Choi’s visit came after three Capitol employees wrapped up their educational tour in Busan. The Busan Government sponsored the 2014 Busan Sister City International Training Program on Saemaul Undong and Urban Planning held on October 29-November 11, 2014. Three employees from the Capitol, Executive Assistant III Mercedita Coca, Provincial Information Officer Ethel Natera and Planning Officer Shemmer Lev Pagusara attended the training. Earlier on May this year, the first batch of trainees from the Cebu Provincial Government also completed the same program.

The training gave participants an insight on how Korea was able to achieve unprecedented economic growth and industrialization after the Korean War in the 1960s. Saemaul Undong or New Community Movement is an integrated development program that began in the 1970s. Koreans credit Saemaul Undong for transforming their country from being one of the poorest countries in the world to the prosperity it is enjoying now. From being a recipient of international aid, it became a donor country in just 50 years.

It was very a rare opportunity for the Capitol employees, said the governor in a press conference. Gov. Davide said Choi’s presence expressed Busan’s interest to pursue their friendly cooperation established during the past administration.

He said part of Choi’s team; Kim Hee-Sun will stay in Cebu the whole year of 2015. With the Capitol’s assistance, Choi will observe the areas “where we can establish our friendly cooperation,” especially on commerce and trade, Davide added.

Earlier, the governor said, the Busan, South Korea-Cebu Sisterhood Program provides “bilateral assistance, such as scholarship grants for permanent Capitol staff, international training support and cultural exchanges.”