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Caribbean-Korea forum focuses on e-governance, renewable energy

The second high level forum between the Caribbean and Korea got underway on Tuesday morning in Seoul, Republic of Korea with the acknowledgement that the two parties shared common interests and encountered similar challenges, and could benefit from investment and shared knowledge.
Caricom and Korea have common interests in e-government, marine environmental management, and new and renewable energy, and will discuss those matters during the one-day meeting with the intention of developing closer cooperation in those sectors. Addressing the opening of the one-day meeting, Caricom Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said the forum convened less than a year after the first was held in October last year, sought practical and productive ways to increase cooperation between Korea and Caricom.
He pointed to the close ties between individual Caricom member states and Korea, and alluded to the technical cooperation relationship that began at the regional level in 2002. He highlighted the substantial assistance already rendered to the community by Korea in the area of e-government under a project executed by the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD), and said there was still much work to be done in that area to enhance the delivery of government information and services to the people of the region.
“It is our hope therefore for continued cooperation in this area which would allow for our e-government initiatives to be aided by the Republic of Korea’s technology and experience accumulated in the sector,” he told delegates at the opening session.
The e-government initiatives, he said, were an important part of the Caricom Regional Digital Development Strategy (RDDS). The RDDS is geared at ensuring that the community is fully prepared to participate in the global knowledge society.  In the area of developing new and renewable energy, the secretary general told the meeting that Caricom member states were exploring ways of using solar, wind and geo-thermal sources of energy to exploit their climate and geographical advantages.
With regard to the broad objective of preserving seas and beaches, the secretary general said he looked forward to the discussions on marine environment and fisheries, bearing in mind the importance of tourism and fisheries to the economies of Caricom member states, and the fact that both sectors were affected by environmental degradation.
“The Caribbean is more dependent upon tourism than any other part of the world, relative to its size.  And as you are no doubt aware, a key factor in our tourism product is the pristine seas and beautiful beaches. The maintenance of the marine environment is therefore of paramount importance and “we look forward to the exchange of ideas and exposure to new technologies which would enhance our ability to preserve our seas and our beaches,” he added.

Category/ies:Regional News.
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