By Katy Robertson
WASHNGTON D.C., Sept. 24 – Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon is visiting major U.S. cities to promote his city’s “Creative Economy” initiatives, designed to lead the next phase of his country’s remarkable half-century growth story.
Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is a booming, modern and clean metropolis, and is the seventh largest city in the world.
Seoul and South Korea rose from poverty to global economic leadership in five decades based on manufacturing. Now, Seoul is crafting the next chapter of its economic growth by expanding its service sector, nurturing a venture-capital, startup environment and significantly expanding the tourism and convention industry. These are the building blocks for the “Creative Economy.”
Mayor Park is visiting mayors and other high-ranking public and private-sector officials during his 10-day visit, starting in New York, then going to Washington D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles.
“I will promote Seoul’s capacity as hub for investment and as a tourist destination while enhancing the network with other cities and institutions for cooperation,” Mayor Park said. “My priority in the U.S visit is to build momentum for Seoul-style creative economy.”
Mayor Park, who is president of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, attended the United Nations Climate Summit in New York. There, he announced the Climate Change Compact of Mayors. Also in New York, Mayor Park toured the city’s famous High Line elevated pedestrian green space, and announced the building of a similar project in Seoul.
In Washington, Mayor Park will speak with the American Academy of Diplomacy and meet with Mayor Vincent Gray. He also has a scheduled meeting with Daniel Russel, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the U.S. State Department.
Mayor Park will visit Silicon Valley to seek ways to attract venture capital’s investment for start-up companies in Seoul. In New York, he will hold an investment promotion road show, pitching Seoul’s plan to make Yeouido – Seoul’s Wall Street — a finance hub as well as the city’s conducive environment for investment. He will give a speech at Stanford University.
Washington is Seoul’s U.S. sister city and Los Angeles is home to the largest Korean population outside of South Korea.