World Bank opens new office in Songdo

December 3, 2013
Hyun Oh-seok, South Korea's finance minister and Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank (Photo by Ministry of Strategy and Finace)

Hyun Oh-seok, South Korea’s finance minister and Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank (Photo by Ministry of Strategy and Finance)

(Yonhap) The World Bank Group opened its brand new South Korean office Wednesday in a special ceremony attended by its chief and many other officials from here and abroad.

The new Korea office in Songdo represents South Korea’s growing stature in the international community, the World Bank Group and South Korea’s finance ministry said in a joint press release.

It, however, will also work with developing countries in the region.

“Korea is a great development success story which many developing countries look to as an inspiration. We will bring together the public and private sector sides of our operation to enhance our collaboration to end extreme poverty and build shared prosperity,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim was quoted as saying in the opening ceremony held in Songdo, an artificial island located just west of Seoul in Incheon.

Hyun Oh-seok, South Korea’s finance minister who is concurrently serving as a deputy prime minister, also vowed support for developing countries.

“As a country that moved successfully from aid recipient to a donor, Korea understands the difficulties that developing countries face, and we stand ready to share the knowledge and know-how gained over the course of development,” he said.

The Korea office’s support for developing countries may include joint financial projects and training for bank and financial regulators from Asian countries, according to the press release.

The establishment of the World Bank’s Korea office also follows the opening of the headquarters of the U.N. Green Climate Fund, also in Songdo, which was set to be officially launched in a separate ceremony later in the day.