Honorable Chairman Pham Thanh Tan(팜 타잉 딴) of APRACA, Secretary General Benedicto Bayaua(베네딕트 바이우아), Director Thomas Elhaut(토마스 얼호트) of IFAD Asia Division, Distinguished representatives of agricultural institutions of member states, On behalf of the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation of Korea, I would like to congratulate the opening of the 56th Executive Committee Meeting and extend
Honorable Chairman Pham Thanh Tan(팜 타잉 딴) of APRACA,
Secretary General Benedicto Bayaua(베네딕트 바이우아),
Director Thomas Elhaut(토마스 얼호트) of IFAD Asia Division,
Distinguished representatives of agricultural institutions of member states,
On behalf of the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation of Korea, I would like to congratulate the opening of the 56th Executive Committee Meeting and extend my warmest welcome to all participants from home and abroad.
Today, we gather in the midst of a global economic crisis that calls for stronger international financial cooperation. This makes today’s meeting a timely opportunity to explore ways to deepen collaboration in agricultural finance in the Asia-Pacific region.
It is, therefore, with great honor that I welcome you to this prestigious gathering that highlights leadership in agricultural finance development in the region.
Since its establishment in 1977, APRACA has emerged as one of the most prominent
financial institutions in our region, providing differentiated financial services to rural
communities through a close inter-member network.
As you are well aware, the global economy is faced with unprecedented challenges; challenges that, in order to be contained, will cost us a great amount time and hard work.
Accordingly, the recent months have seen concerted efforts by economic leaders to seek collective response. And it is within this context that I put particular importance on our discussions on knowledge sharing and close cross-border collaboration.
The Finpower CEO Forum will also present an excellent platform where members can share diverse experiences and expertise. It is my hope that this dialogue will lead to a better understanding of agricultural environments of fellow member countries and to concrete cooperative measures to overcome imminent challenges in agricultural and rural finance.
Our agricultural and rural communities have been exposed to the tremendous pressure for change in the face of accelerating globalization and market opening. The recent hike in global oil prices and raw materials represent further challenges to be tackled.
In response to such difficulties, NACF has played a key role in providing financing to its member farmers since its establishment in 1961. We have focused our resources and capabilities on expanding food production, securing access to farm supplies, eliminating high-interest private loans and ensuring stable prices in rural communities. Such operations of NACF have been crucial in agricultural and rural development and improving the quality of life of member farmers.
Being a unique agriculture-specialized bank in Korea, we seek to further enhance efficiency of our services through stable provision of capital and comprehensive management consulting services. Our efforts have also been notable in expanding the horizon of agricultural finance to incorporate food and environment sectors.
I’m also proud to present “I Love Farm Campaign” designed to enhance values and
economic vitality in rural communities, and “One company, one rural village sisterhood project” aimed at promoting inclusive growth between urban and rural areas and between enterprises and member farmers.
Through my thirty-eight years of career dedicated to the work of NACF, I have witnessed first-hand the integral role that financial services play in the development of agricultural and rural communities.
However, agriculture continues to represent a dwindling percentage in the national economy, further downgrading the socio-economic status of farmers.
This emphasizes the need to employ agricultural finance not only for rural development purposes but also for improving access to culture, welfare, and medicine that are more closely linked to better quality of life in rural communities.
It will also be encouraged to see eco-friendly, or green growth values opening up
opportunities for new businesses. This, in turn, will lead to value-added agriculture and provide momentum to continued development of agricultural financial institutions.
The role of our dialogue, therefore, is all the more significant. It is my hope that this
gathering will mark an important milestone in strengthening cooperation among agricultural finance groups and developing a future blueprint for agricultural finance.
As we meet today in a historical city of Seoul; A city that represents the vibrant history of Korea, and a city that offers the great richness of our five-thousand year-old cultural heritage.
It is my hope that this gathering will give you an opportunity to enjoy the many historical and cultural delights that Seoul has to offer.
Let me end my remarks by extending my appreciation to Chairman Pham Thanh Tan(팜 타잉 딴) and the staff members of APRACA for the excellent arrangements that have made this meeting possible.
I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.