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[KoreaTimes] 'Korea's development model reduces poverty'
Title [KoreaTimes] 'Korea's development model reduces poverty'
Date 2014-09-30

'Korea's development model reduces poverty'

By Chung Min-uck

Chun Seung-hun, President of the Korea Institute for Development Strategy

Chun Seung-hun, 67, president and co-founder of the Korea Institute for Development Strategy (KDS), is one of the pioneering contributors to replicating Korea’s development model to developing nations in their bid to overcome poverty.

As an experienced development expert, Dr. Chun has a great deal of experience working with developing nations, right from his days at the Korea International Corporation Agency (KOICA) to his current role.

“I have been to almost every nation stricken with poverty,” said Chun in an interview with The Korea Times at the KDS’ Office in Seoul, Wednesday. “Poverty prevents individuals as well as societies from satisfying basic human needs and may even deprive them of life. So I came to think of helping those nations for poverty reduction and wealth creation.”

Chun said Korea’s development experience reflected in the manner in which the nation has risen from abject poverty to affluence is indeed highly unprecedented. On this premise, he became motivated to establish an independent think-tank that can contribute to sharing Korea’s experience with countries currently grappling with crippling poverty.

Established in 2001, the KDS is the nations’ first private institute that solely focuses on research and consultancy in sharing Korea’s development experiences and expertise with developing countries.

He further added that the business is a new model that can contribute to job creation for the youth.

“Korea at the moment doesn’t have enough jobs to accommodate high quality college graduates,” Chun said. “Overseas development is a new sector that has the potential to create new jobs for young people.”

The KDS currently has 33 employees and the number is expected to rise.

The institute recorded its highest revenue of 7.2 billion won ($ 6.7 million) in 2011. Then in 2012 it was 4.2 billion won ($ 3.9 million) thus making the institute the highest earner among private entities engaged in the business of development consultancy.

“The market for overseas aid is growing in Korea,” he added. “Now is a good chance for private companies to develop in this sector.”

Chun, also hinted of the rising competition from state run institutions to win government overseas development aid contracts, a trend he sees as a challenge to private institutes like the KDS.

“If the private companies don’t grow how are they to compete with global consulting companies that have long-standing know-how in overseas development aid,” Chun said. “The government should block the public sector from entering the overseas aid market so that Korea can gain competitiveness in the sector.”

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