Chosun Ilbo, South Korea
Feb 27 2005
Government Officials from 3 Caucasus Nations Visit Korea
Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan have a lot in common. All former
members of the USSR, the three countries have been struggling to make
transitions into market economies since the collapse of the Soviet
Union in 1991. Carrying out widespread reforms has led to steady
growth and lower inflation.
But they are still battling issues like poverty and high unemployment
rates, problems Korea faced in the 60s and 70s in the aftermath of
the Korean War.
Officials from the Caucasus nations, are in town to learn about
Korea’s economy, especially how the country was able to emerge so
quickly from the ruins of the Korean War and into an economic
powerhouse. The officials say there is much to be learnt from Korea’s
experience, from both its successes and failures.
One area of great interest for these countries that are used to a
centrally planned economy is how to effectively lead the economy
under democratic conditions. “Strengthening the capacity of the state
as a planner and as a developer and supporter of the private sector
is critical for Georgia and Korea has very good experience. And this
is what we would like to primarily learn from your experience,” said
Officials are also taking the chance to increase bilateral
cooperation by inviting Korean investors to their countries. These
countries hope to benefit from technological help to fully utilize
their resources and successfully develop their economies.
Increasing bilateral ties is expected to be mutually beneficial. “By
strengthening the relationship between Korea and these countries, I
think we can enhance our international status. Not only diplomatic
but also economic status, because they have many good natural
resources. We can have good opportunity to secure those natural
resources like oil and minerals,” said one Korean official.
Also for Korea, enhancing ties with the three countries located at
the strategically important area linking Asia and Europe may open a
new route to Southwest Asian countries.