Good morning everyone 🙂 This is Haerim.
Today, I would like to talk about ‘Asia Future Forum’ hosted by Hankyoreh Media group and organized by Hankyoreh Economic Research Insitute. I had a chance to be invited there!
The forum was running for two days, 16th and 17th of October 2012, in Seoul. As you can notice from the name of it, the forum was about discussing the issues ahead of us in the near future. More specifically, the forum was about building a platform to seek a balance between prosperity and sustainability, and thus encourage collaboration between Asian countries.
The theme of this year’s forum was‘Leadership in Transformation’. As a young with desire to become a leader one day, I was more than willing to hear about the matter of leadership. The theme and this year seemed a good match, as there will be lots of elections going across the world. Over 60 countries, including China, the United States, Russia and Korea, will be tallying up the votes. We may see some power shifts in politics.
At the forum, the global leaders and experts discussed how changes in political leadership would affect economic policy, business sector, public administration and civil society. Also, they talked about how different actors respond to those changes and experience ‘leadership in transformation’.
To congratulate the forum being held, Kim Seok-Dong, the Chairman of Financial Services Commission, delivered the opening address.
“Neoliberalism has been a dominant idea over the last 40 years, making government interventions as minimal as possible. Meanwhile, there has been too strong belief in market system. Due to the unbalance between government and market, the word is now suffering from social polarization. It calls us to make a change by introducing a new paradigm in the economy”, said Mr. Kim. At the heart of his address, he expressed the crucial importance of ‘the light of Asian leadership’. Mr. Kim, being himself as one of the Asian leaders in the current era, mentioned the following points.
First of all, Asian leaders should seek to establish and expand financial safety net which will not be vulnerable to external affairs.
Second, he asserted that we should alleviate economic disparities between the high-income earners and low-income earners. His remark was in line with distribution justice which gains a lot of attention these days. For the low-income households in our society and the widening gap between individuals, it is now time to consider the quality of economic growth and development, rather than to pursue quantitative expansions only. One of the means to achieve it is investing more in human capitals.
At last, he frankly expressed his concern that many Asian countries are heavily reliant on agriculture and fishery which are highlyvenerable to climate changes. Along with this concern, he reminded that we are nearly short of stable energy supplies, despite the ever soaring costs and needs of energy resources. Mr. Kim emphasized the importance of sustainable green growth in Asia which can be pursued by cooperation between Asian countries.
After Mr. Kim’s address, I was highly inspired by the idea of balance between prosperity and sustainability. Beyond the visible measures through quantitative expansion, I would like to pay more attention to ‘the quality’ of economic growth and how our economy is invested in such a way.
To achieve the goals presented above, we should not blindly follow competition anymore. Rather, it’s time for us to appreciate the value of solidarity, cooperation, and symbiotic relationship between countries. Crisis calls for a new form of revolution. Asian countries will be able to overcome the confronting issues and move forwards, only when we cooperate and get over the logic of survival. I am expecting the future of Asia which prospers on the basis of those values and a genuine leadership responding to transformation.